Letters to the Editor
After the informative meeting, and talking to different people in the community, the fire district proposal for an operating opt-out is somewhat misleading.
In the past, the fire department was put together with community donations and support from a very dedicated bunch of people.
Is raising taxes to fund the fire district the only way? No.
When there is a county grass fire, one sees a lot of one's neighbors and implements working together to fight the fire.
Let's not raise our taxes for a fire district, let's keep our community working together.
Before you vote, know the facts.
Approximately 36 percent of the people who own taxable real estate in the Philip Fire Protection District do not live in Haakon County.
Approximately 550 donation letters are sent out each year and only around 40 percent are returned with donations.
Approximately 20 percent of fires billed out are paid.
And, currently, the Philip fire chief and fire department treasurer have put up their private equities by co-signing loans that the fire department needed for fire trucks.
The Philip Fire Protection District was established in 1983 and until now has not opted-out of the tax freeze.
Due to declining donations and continually rising costs of operating and maintaining a safe and efficient fire department, along with certain state and federal regulations that must be met, we feel this is a fair and equal option for us to pursue. Because, instead of just a few supporting the Philip Fire Department, all individuals and businesses will be supporting the fire department on an equal basis. In other words, it only seems fair that all share in helping to pay for these services by giving a little, rather than having a few pay more to provide services for all.
Example of what it could cost per year: $1,000 taxable value x .606 = $6.06, $50,000 taxable value x .606 = $30.30.
Exercise your right and vote. Thank you.
/s/ Curtis L. Arthur, member Philip Fire Protection District, Philip Fire Department,
Milesville Fire Department,