Firefighters Say they Need More

9 years 7 months 3 days ago February 23, 2007 Feb 23, 2007 Friday, February 23 2007 Friday, February 23, 2007 9:41:52 AM CST in News

Service, it's the name of the game in Holts Summit.

"Its been my firm belief since I was hired here in 2002, that everyone pays the same taxes," said Chief Scott Brooks Holts Summit fire protection district "but not everyone is receiving the same service. I believe we should be striving to try to correct that."

So they are. The district is urging voters to pass a $3 million bond to expand the current station and add two satellite stations.

"The challenge is we are a pretty fair distance from the farthest points that we service," Brooks said.

The satellite stations would put them closer

"Response time is critical in everything," Brooks said.

And having live-in volunteers would also better the response time.

"If we have someone living here, we know we're gonna have a full crew showing up to a scene and we can go to work," said Holts Summit firefighter, Matt Morcie.

"We're not just going hey let's get more money from the public," explained Christy Sevart board of directors president. " It's really there for their benefit."

The belief is that insurance rates could go down for some because they would be closer to a fire station.

Even though you might be adding a little more to your property tax up front in a year or two, you might save triple or quadruple that in your insurance rates," said Billy Bolden Holts Summit firefighter.

But no one can say just how much until the bond passes and the department decides exact details of the improvements.

"This is a temporary inconvenience for a permanent solution, " Sevart said.

Property taxes would pay off the bond over a twenty year period.

"We reassess every year because Holts Summit is growing by leaps and bounds," Sevart said. Obviously, if we have more people it will set it at less."

The fire board wants to get Holts Summit on par with other stations. Holts Summit fire covers 50 square miles out of one station with no live-in volunteers.

"This community deserves the best that we can do," Brooks said. "Right now, we're doing the best we can do. We can do a lot better with their help."

Whether or not they get that help will be up to the voters on April 3.

If you'd like to learn more about this bond issue or express your opinion, the fire district will be holding public meetings in Holts Summit to discuss it.

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