Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District leaders explain tax levy on April Ballot

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 5:50 PM CDT
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WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (KY3) - For those who live in Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District, you will see a tax levy on the April Ballot.

Bill Simpson lives in the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District. He says because of where he lives, he would vote yes on this increased tax levy.

”Here in Hunters Point, we don’t have any fire plugs or fire lines and stuff. So if there’s a fire here, they have to fight it with a truck,” said Simpson.

It will mean an increase in both real estate and property taxes. If you have $25,000 in property, it’s an extra $25 a year. For the average homeowner here, someone with $100,000, it would mean a property tax increase of about $60 a year. Chief Doug Yureko says it is needed to hire firefighters.

“We look at how it’s going to not allow us to provide the services we need. We’ll be running out the door with two people on an engine instead of the four that we used to have. If we look at national standards for people on an engine as a minimum of what we should have,” said Chief Yreko.

The chief says they don’t have enough money because the district was notified two years ago that it would no longer be providing services inside Waynesville city limits.

”In the 2020 timeframe, there was discussion at the city level about lowering the cost of their fire protection. We’re we have to charge a certain amount by state statute. We it has to be fair to our taxpayers. So the same amount that our taxpayers pay, the city would pay. Well, the city wanted to lower that amount. Well, we couldn’t lower it because we are state law says we can’t,” said Chief Yureko

He said Waynesville now works with the St. Robert Fire Department. That was a loss of $325,000 a year.

“It keeps us from laying off firefighters. That’s probably the most important thing out of the whole proposition is maintaining the current level and adding back the firefighters that we’ve lost,” said Chief Yureko.

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