Smart Decision 2014: Prop 1 poses tax to fund police, fire crews

3 years 1 month 1 week ago Thursday, October 30 2014 Oct 30, 2014 Thursday, October 30, 2014 4:36:00 PM UTC October 30, 2014 in News
By: Anders Aarhus, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia wants to raise property taxes to help pay for more police officers and firefighters. The city is asking voters to decide on Proposition One, which would increase the tax rate by 30 cents per $100 valuation phased in over a five-year period.

Former Columbia Mayor Bob Pugh, who opposes the measure, said the city shouldn't be asking people to pay for things that are supposed to be basic services.

"Pay for the policemen and firemen and roads and bridges first and if you got any money left over you can spend it on something else. And if you don't have enough money and you think it's something worthwhile doing, you can ask the voters to approve it or not approve it," said Pugh. "It's curious the people have never been asked to voted on certain, what I call luxuries, and now we're being asked to vote on a fundamental obligation of the city government."

However the fire department said it needs to money because it's understaffed and unable to respond to all calls in the standard four minutes or less.

Battalion Chief Brad Fraizer said, "As the city continues to grow, the fire department staffing and the number of stations that we have, have remained the same and we're seeing a trend upward in response times."

The map below shows the area each fire station is supposed to cover.

Fire Station Coverage

However the below map shows the actual current coverage.
Actual Coverage Area


City officials said Proposition One would pay for the salaries, equipment and training of an additional 55 public safety staff members over the course of five years. Fifteen of those 55 would be firefighters, which Frazier said would allow the fire department to fully staff its stations and cut down on response times.

One of the stations that would benefit is Station Two. Engine two at that station is operational less than half of time of a normal engine. Fraizer said new firefighters would let the department keep the engine in operation 100 percent of the time.

Fraizer said the money would also be used to help build a new Station 10, to help deal with a continually expanding city.

 

The police department said 40 new police officers would help cut down on status zero, a situation when every officer on duty is responding to a call at the same time.

KOMU previously reported the Columbia Police Department reaches status zero multiple times a day.

Mayor Bob McDavid told KOMU the police department is 30 or 40 percent understaffed compared to similar-sized cities.

Some people have suggested increasing the sales tax instead of the property tax. But McDavid and Public Safety Committee Chair Karen Taylor said Internet shopping has caused the sales tax to decline. A property tax increase is seen by the city as a more reliable option.

 

Poll results are no longer available.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Nearly four years ago to the day, local business owner Linda Bonebrake was diagnosed with severe sepsis at... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 6:47:00 PM UTC December 10, 2017 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Bird lovers got an up close look at birds typically seen in their backyards Sunday. It... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 5:36:00 PM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Museums around Columbia hosted docent led tours Sunday, spreading awareness about their exhibits and art collections. Docents are... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 3:59:00 PM UTC December 10, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - 2017 will mark the 140th Christmas the historic Maplewood House has seen from its home in south Columbia.... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 3:54:00 PM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - MU Police Department, MU Greek Life, local businesses and residents made Operation Steal Back Christmas a huge success.... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 3:31:00 PM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — After more than 20 years of providing resources and activities for home schooling, a southwest Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 11:38:00 AM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Jordan Geist, a role player known most for his scrappy style, scored 28 points Saturday night... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 9:39:00 AM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- Alyssa Schell joined the University of Missouri Police Department as a dispatcher in February, excited to be living out... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 9:28:00 AM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
CENTRALIA - A husband, wife and visiting grandchildren escaped a Saturday night house fire in Centralia, fire officials said. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 1:36:00 AM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Police in Kansas City, Missouri, say an 8-year-old boy has died after being hit by a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 11:35:21 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Students, staff and community members volunteered at University Village this morning to create a community garden, with the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 9:41:00 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia provides plenty of Christmas experiences for families to enjoy, but Columbia Access Television (CAT) offered a unique... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 3:38:00 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - When Hurricane Harvey struck Texas, the Patrick family watched news reports about the damage from their home... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 3:25:00 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - With two years added to his contract, Mizzou football head coach Barry Odom will remain with the Tigers... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 3:15:00 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The first-degree murder trial of a 28-year-old Wisconsin man charged in the stabbing death of his Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 3:06:46 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- As winter approaches, cold temperatures are making their way back to Columbia, with lows this week consistently below freezing.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 2:37:00 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Treats Unleashed hosted “Milk and Cookies” Saturday to benefit Everything Greyt, a greyhound rescue organization. Dogs and... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 2:28:00 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police officers in St. Louis have come under gunfire for the second time in three days.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 2:04:54 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
8am 37°
9am 43°
10am 46°
11am 49°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
9:00a
Megyn Kelly TODAY
10:00a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
7:00a
Maury
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Better Late Than Never
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Valor
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld