Osage Tax to Add to Fire Staff
With two bonds expiring in the spring of 2009, the fire department says that the new proposed tax will actually be a decrease. Since the lake is becoming a year-round tourist destination, the department says this tax is vital to better serve the growing number of people.The Osage Beach Fire Department used to get a call a day for help, but tourism has changed that.
"By 2010, we expect 2,000 phone calls [a year]," said Fire Chief Jeffrey R. Dorhauer, Sr.
With this abundance of phone calls the department feels its time to add extra manpower.Their proposed tax decrease would help pay the salaries for six additional firefighters. The salary payment is possible because the department expects to be debt free by 2009, so the tax would not have to be used to pay bonds.
Residents of Osage Beach see the need for more firefighters.
"We're going to need more full-time firemen, so I think it's great," said Leon Moore, Osage Beach resident.
The department doesn't even want to think of what would happen if the proposal doesn't pass.
"I hope it doesn't come to that, but would it be a major blow," said Chief Dorhauer.
Currently, five firefighters are on call at all times. If the tax passes that number would increase to seven.
Residents of Osage Beach will vote on the tax on April 3rd.