(FAUCETT, Mo.) The South Central Buchanan County Fire Department established a fire protection district in 1989. At that time, they responded to roughly a dozen calls a year. Now, that number has grown to over 300.
While the department has grown in demand for their service, the facility they were established in - an old school house - has not changed to meet their growth.
"The facility here in Faucett is just very, very tight," SCBC Fire Chief, Dennis Johnson, said.
Johnson said they have to squeeze their three trucks into the facility to make them fit.
"Quite frankly, it is not at adequate size today and for the future as well," Johnson said. "So we're looking at building perhaps a new fire house here in Faucett."
The department hopes an increased tax levy on the upcoming April ballot will help the agency allocate enough funds to build a new fire house in Faucett and add on roughly 1600 square feet to the facility in Agency.
""We are asking for a $.36 increase to the levy, it will last ten years and then it'll sunset 32 cents of that," Karen Schultz, Friends of SCBC Fire Department Committee, said.
Schultz said the $.36 would be added onto an already existing $.28 tax levy. However, $.32 of that levy is under a sunset clause of ten years. Leaving $0.04 on the operating budget for the new fire house.
The total budget for the new fire house and repairs to the facility in Agency comes to about $1.5 million, according to Schultz.
"There was some debate on how much we needed to do, and we really felt like to grow into the future that the best thing we could do is that they [Fire Department] determined that they were going to need so much money and that $0.36 increase onto the existing levy would be adequate," Schultz said.
SCBC has already purchased 9.15 acres of land just south of Grand DD and West Highway 371. The department said they want enough space in the new fire house to provide better training space for their volunteer firefighters.
"A nice, attractive facility that has plenty of room to where we can bring in an extra apparatus or we can park an ambulance on a part time basis and that sort of thing," Johnson said. "We can't do that currently at this facility."
The new facility would also potentially lower ISO ratings for people who live in the area, which could result in lower property insurance rates.
It would also allow enough room for the department to fit an ariel fire apparatus truck into the building that would allow them to fight fires at two story places like the school or area homes.
"We need them [firefighter] there, and for them to do their job they've got to have adequate facilities and equipment to do that job," Anna Newman, Faucett community member, said.
The levy will be up for vote on the April 3rd ballot.
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