Fire district seeks mill levy increase


The Pagosa Fire Protection District Board of Directors approved putting a mill levy question on this November’s ballot at its Aug. 11 meeting, requesting an additional tax rate of up to three mills.

According to Fire Chief Diane Bower, the current mill levy rests at 4.067. The state requires that .5 mills of this go toward the volunteer pension fund. The remaining 3.567 goes toward general operating costs.

If the ballot issue is passed, the mill levy will total 7.067 and will add $734,866 to the total revenue received by the district. The district’s general fund revenues for 2015 were $850,583. With the mill levy increase, total revenues would come to approximately $1.585 million.

According to chair of the district’s election committee, Linda Lattin, the current mill levy of 4.067 has been in place since 1998.

The district anticipates using the mill levy for the replacement of air packs, extrication equipment, bunker and wildland gear, ongoing training, uniforms for volunteers, radios and vehicles, among other things. It will also fund day-to-day operations, according to Lattin.

Air packs typically cost $724 each. This year, the district has 31 packs expiring, and 36 packs are set to expire next year, Lattin stated.

Bunker gear runs at $2,400 per set for structure fires, and wildland gear runs at $1,355 per set. Extrication equipment costs approximately $25,000, according to Lattin.

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