Boone County Fire Protection District tries to inform public about April's proposed bond issue

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | 9:59 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Boone County Fire Protection District will continue to educate the public about the effects of the district's proposed $14 million bond issue in preparation for a vote on April 8.

Fire Chief Scott Olsen gave the first presentation about the bond issue to the Boone County Muleskinners on Friday. At the district's meeting Wednesday, Olsen said the reception was positive, though he thinks there are "still a lot of people out there who don't know much about (the Fire Protection District)."

Olsen's presentation included information about the volunteer fire district as well as the details of the proposed bond. The Fire District plans to continue educating the public until the bond issue goes before voters.

The potential bond would help pay for updating and replacing equipment as well as purchasing new facilities and land. The Fire District last purchased equipment in 2000, Olsen said.

"We are still working on details of how we would spend the bond issue if it were approved," Olsen said.

The Fire District created two committees to work on spending details: an apparatus committee, which will focus on possible equipment projects, and a facilities committee. If the bond issue passes, this advanced planning will help the district avoid a lag in implementing its intended projects, Olsen said.

Olsen said the Fire District has $29 million worth of projects it would like to fund but has decided to only ask for a $14 million bond issue for the most important projects.

One of the potential projects, a new station near Route HH, would help bring more people within 5 miles of a fire department, which could save them money on insurance.

The Fire District will hold its next regular monthly board meeting at 5:30 p.m. March 19 at the Boone County Fire Protection District Headquarters.

Supervising editor is Elise Schmelzer.

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