Yes on Carbondale fire bond questions |

Yes on Carbondale fire bond questions

Carbondale, Redstone and Missouri Heights residents should take time Tuesday to vote in a very important election.

It won’t set a course for foreign policy, but it will have an impact on taxes, safety and the health of the midvalley economy.

The Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District has put two questions on the ballot. One raises property taxes by 1.6 mills, and the other authorizes the district to use the resulting revenues to issue up to $6.75 million in bonded debt.

Both questions should be approved.

The money would expand the fire stations in Carbondale and Westbank, buy land for and build a new training facility, and replace firefighting, lifesaving and communications equipment over the next decade.

As the midvalley population grows, and as more people build homes in the red zone where wildfires can cause serious damage and threaten lives, the need for improvements becomes increasingly important. Effects of the Panorama Fire of 2002, for example, still impact residents.

Firefighting capacity won’t be the only benefit.

Like Glenwood Springs, Carbondale is aiming for a high level of emergency medical training for its paid and volunteer staff. The training facility will provide a permanent home for the ongoing instruction that will be needed to maintain that level of service.

The tax increase will cost the owner of a $400,000 home an extra $51 a year, and the owner of a $1 million business property an extra $464.

That’s not pocket change. But if stiff summer winds are pushing a wildfire toward your home, or a loved one is suffering a heart attack, the investment will seem a small price to pay for the kind of help a well-trained and well-equipped fire department can provide.

Board members of the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District gave these proposals a lot of thought, and deserve the support of voters in approving them.

Take the time to go to any of the four polling places (the Carbondale, Westbank or Missouri Heights fire stations or the Church at Redstone) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and vote your support for your fire department.

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