On April 2nd, 2019, New Melle Fire Protection District will be seeking voter approval for a $0.10 tax to establish a long term pension/retirement program. New Melle Fire District has strived over the years to be extremely financially responsible when it comes to spending your valuable tax dollars.
In the past 20 years with full time personnel, we have made huge advancements in upgrading our fire equipment and workforce. With an updated fleet of trucks, rescue and firefighting equipment, we are now looking towards the future of personnel.
Currently we have 11 full time firefighters and a full time fire chief, of which many were hired at the same time, around the same age with a similar time of retirement. Due to the physical and mental demands of our industry, the district strives to maintain our skilled and qualified workforce.
In prior years, firefighters hired with the district were pulled from the pool of volunteers that had served with the district and in today’s climate, we are running short on volunteers, with only a few prospects that would be eligible in becoming full time. This said, during future hiring the District may have to open our hiring process up to a larger array of candidates; one benefit will be access to a larger pool of highly trained and qualified individuals.
In order to make these future positions marketable, the District must keep up with industry standards and competitive benefits to assure the District doesn’t become a stepping stone to other districts. One solution would be providing a long term pension/retirement plan for our firefighters, both current and future. As with any added benefit, costs associated with improvements of our District affect every citizen in our District.
The District is seeking voters’ approval on a 10 cent tax to fund the long term pension program. This vote will assure current firefighters have a secure future as well as positioning the District for great success for years to come. This vote will be held on April 2nd.