In November, Keizer Fire District will have a General Obligation Emergency Equipment Bond Measure on the ballot.
On Tuesday evening at the Keizer Fire District Board meeting, the motion was passed to ask the citizens of Keizer for a small increase in their taxes to better serve them.
“We do the best to maintain our equipment and keep it in good working order, but time and wear are against us,” fire chief Jeff Cowan said. “We knew our fleet of engines and ambulances would have to be replaced, but we made the choice to pay off our station bond first and be financially responsible. Our priority is service and staffing, now we need to replace our equipment.”
The proposed equipment bond has an estimated tax rate of $.14 per $1,000 of assessed value and will bring in approximately $6.2 million.
This bond will be at a lower starting rate than the station bond which began at $.20 per $1,000 of assessed value. The amount decreased over time as local growth and new construction added to our assessed valuation on properties in Keizer. The station Bond will be paid off in February 2016.
If passed, the Emergency Equipment Bond would provide the funding to replace three engines, five medic units, one command vehicle, one rescue, one brush rig and have the 23-year-old ladder refurbished. The equipment would be purchased over the course of the bond. Most of the purchases would occur within the first two years of the bond to replace the aging fleet.
Currently two of the engines are more than 20 years old and lack modern safety features to keep firefighters safe. All three of the ambulances need to be replaced due to age, wear, mileage and reliability. The rescue vehicle was taken out of service due to unreliability.