Mill levy based on real needs
The case for a mill-levy increase for the Cortez Fire Protection District to maintain and enhance the excellent service of the district is solidly based on real needs. Despite being understaffed and underfunded, Cortez Fire has managed to establish an unbelievable record for response time, meeting the national standards of 3 to 5 minutes within the city and 8 to 10 minutes in the rural areas. I do not believe that this level of success can me maintained without adding staff, both paid and volunteer, to the present small, stressed staff. Nor can it be maintained without replacing outmoded equipment and upgrading in several areas of safety and maintenance. Sadly enough, some few negative voices think that when they see a fire truck without lights and sirens going through town at a normal speed, or stopping at a restaurant or food market, that the fire staff are just out joy riding and burning fuel.
The truth is that these workers are on 24-hour shifts, and they have to eat sometime, so they take make a run for a quick lunch taking the engine with them, so they can respond to a call in a timely fashion.
Should they leave the fire truck parked at the station and take their own cars to lunch. What would that do to their response time?
The same factors apply to our Police Department when the officers take their patrol cars to lunch. The needs of our Fire District have become more urgent. The last mill-levy increase for the district was in 1996, nearly 20 years ago.
The present proposed mill levy of 2.5 mills (.0025), requires only a very modest tax increase for residential property, and a reasonable one for commercial property.
Residential property with an assessed value of $150,000 would see a tax increase of $29.85 per year, $2.49 per month.
Lets get this done as an additional source of pride for a community that has been making steady improvements to the quality of life in a beautiful part of the world.
Denton May, Cortez