POLK COUNTY, Mo. — The Central Polk County Fire Protection District has to come up with a different plan after voters decided against a tax levy that would have helped fund their district.
Battalion Chief Tom Morris says firefighters went door to door, talking with Polk County residents about the proposed tax levy and asking them to vote yes, but he’s been left to wonder why the measure failed.
“We had a tremendous amount of folks and yeah, we’ll go vote for it,” Morris said. “And I’m not exactly sure why, but you know, we had probably 90% of the people we went door to door said, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll go vote for it.’ And then now here we are.
Morris said that because the levy didn’t pass, the Central Polk County Fire Protection District is not going to be able to upgrade their equipment but will continue serving the community.
“We will do our best it could possibly, you know, if if I’ve got a truck that’s out of service, I may have to drive, I say, to get a truck to come back to do that,” Morris said. “So we’re talking 15, 20 minutes longer response time because a truck is down.”
The district’s aging trucks could soon be a problem. Their newest fire truck is 17 yeas old and some of their trucks are over 40 years old.
Morris said he thinks the vote not passing may have come from a misunderstanding in the community.
“And, but we would like to know what if, if they could let us know for what reason, and then maybe we can explain,” Morris said. “They may have a valid reason or they may have a misunderstanding of what they think the reasoning is.”
The district may revisit the tax levy in future, as Morris said maintenance on their existing equipment is becoming too expensive to try and pay on their own.