Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District may not be able to accept a FEMA grant recently awarded to the department. As KRCC’s Katherine-Claire O’Connor reports, grant stipulations, and a mill levy complicate the issue.
The grant’s for over 600 thousand dollars and would help employ a half dozen new firefighters over two years, provided the department maintains current personnel levels. But in order to do that, voters need to approve a mill levy. The Department’s Board President Bill Ingram says their funding comes from property taxes, but since 2008 funding reserves have dropped. Ingram says even if the levy is approved and they accept the award, he doesn’t know how long they’d be able to keep the new hires once the grant runs out.
We’re going to have to kinda ‘crystal ball’ on whether or not the economy is going to pick up. If the economy keeps getting worse, so property value keeps going down there is a chance we might at the end of two years have to lay these people off.
If the mill levy is rejected in November, the Woodmoor station will be shut down and 2 or three senior positions eliminated. It’s still unclear when FEMA needs a formal response.