Boone County Fire Protection District board votes to support 911 tax initiative

Thursday, February 28, 2013 | 1:58 p.m. CST; updated 10:56 a.m. CDT, Thursday, March 14, 2013

COLUMBIA — The Boone County Fire Protection District board of directors passed a resolution on Feb. 20 to support Proposition One on the April 2 ballot, which would add a sales tax to fund 911 and emergency management systems.

The current system being used by Boone County is understaffed and outdated, according to a news release from the the Fire District. It services agencies such as the Columbia Police and Fire Departments and hospital ambulance services.

The sales tax would generate more than $9 million a year and cover the cost of building a new facility, updating the equipment and maintaining the new system. The emergency system is currently funded by the city, which pays about $1.7 million, and the county, which pays between $600,000 and $700,000 annually.

If the proposition is passed, the management of the operations would be changed. Joint Communications and Emergency Management would become a new department under Boone County government and call on the services of a volunteer advisory board that would include members of the public.

According to the news release, the board of directors supports the resolution and encourages its passage because it will help the county's emergency agencies provide more responsive service to citizens. 

Supervising editor is Simina Mistreanu.

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