A community newsletter serving New Melle, Defiance, Augus​ta, Marthasville, Dutzow​​ a​nd surrounding areas.

Government

Enhancing Safety and Service: A Critical Investment in the New Melle Fire Protection District


Introduction
The New Melle Fire Protection District (NMFPD) is committed to its mission of putting the "Community FIRST." This dedication to serving the community necessitates continual improvements to meet our residents' growing and evolving needs.
To achieve this, the NMFPD has two ballot measures for the August 6 election. “Proposition Staffing” proposes a 28-cent tax rate increase, and “Proposition Fire” a $6 million no-tax-increase bond issue.

The success of these propositions is crucial for staffing an additional firehouse 24/7 with firefighter paramedics, significantly decreasing response times, and providing superior service to the citizens. Additionally, this will reduce insurance costs for residents and business owners while ensuring we are adequately equipped to respond to emergencies across our 121-square-mile jurisdiction in St. Charles and Warren counties.

The Need for Enhanced Emergency Services
Currently, the NMFPD faces an average emergency response time exceeding 10 minutes. In critical situations, every second counts. A delayed response can mean the difference between life and death, between a minor incident and a major catastrophe. By staffing a new firehouse with firefighter paramedics 24/7, we aim to cut these response times substantially.

Staffing a New Firehouse
The proposed tax increase will fund the staffing of an additional firehouse with firefighter paramedics around the clock. These dual-trained professionals are capable of managing both fire and medical emergencies, ensuring comprehensive and immediate care. A 24/7 staffed firehouse will enable us to respond more rapidly and efficiently to emergencies, providing better service and enhancing the safety of our community.

Financial Benefits for Residents and Business Owners
While the 28-cent tax rate increase requires a financial contribution from each household, the benefits are substantial. Faster and more efficient emergency responses translate to better outcomes and greater peace of mind for all residents. Moreover, enhanced fire protection services directly impact insurance premiums.

Reducing Insurance Costs
Insurance companies assess premiums based on the effectiveness and proximity of fire services. With the improvements funded by this tax increase, we anticipate better ratings from insurance evaluators. This will result in lower insurance premiums for both residents and business owners, offering significant long-term savings.

The $6 Million No-Tax-Increase Bond Issue
In addition to the tax rate increase, the NMFPD proposes a $6 million no-tax-increase bond issue to build the new firehouse and update our equipment. This bond allows us to convert the current firehouses into facilities that support 24-hour operations and replace outdated emergency vehicles and equipment.

Remodeling for 24-Hour Operations
The firehouses require significant upgrades to support continuous operations. This includes enhancing living quarters for around-the-clock occupancy, improving communication systems, and ensuring that all facilities are ready to handle emergencies at any hour. These improvements are essential for maintaining the readiness and efficiency of our firefighter paramedics.

Replacing Outdated Equipment
Our current fleet includes two outdated fire trucks and a brush truck that needs replacing. The bond issue will fund the acquisition of modern fire trucks and other necessary emergency equipment. Updated vehicles and equipment are more reliable and efficient, featuring the latest safety technologies to support our firefighters in protecting the community effectively.

Conclusion
The proposed 28-cent tax rate increase and $6 million no-tax-increase bond issue are vital investments in the safety and well-being of the NMFPD community. These measures will allow us to staff an additional firehouse 24/7 with firefighter paramedics, significantly reducing our current response times of over 10 minutes. Enhanced emergency services will lead to better outcomes for those in need, lower insurance premiums, and greater overall safety. By supporting these initiatives, residents and business owners will contribute to a stronger, more resilient community, fully aligned with our mission of putting the "Community FIRST."

Sincerely,
Daniel Casey
Fire Chief
New Melle Fire Protection District

Editor’s Note:  "Proposition Staffing" is proposing an additional $0.28 tax on each $100 of the assessed value of estimated real estate market value. To calculate your cost, you first need to know the assessed value of your real estate property. To determine that, you need the estimated value of your property, which can be found at lookups.sccmo.org/assessor.
The assessed value is 19% for residential, 12% for agricultural, and 32% for commercial of the estimated value of your total real estate. These percentages are used statewide.

For example, if the estimated value of your residential property is $500,000, the assessed value would be calculated as $500,000 x 19% = $95,000. To determine the cost of Prop Staffing, you would then take $95,000 x 0.28 ÷ 100 = $266.

The bond issue and tax increase are both needed for the additional firehouse and staffing. Money from issued bonds cannot be used for employee compensation. Bonds can be used for everything else, just not salaries.

For more information, visit www.sccmo.org/Real-Estate. To read both proposals in full, visit sccmo.org/Election-Authority and click on the sample ballot for the August 6 election.