COLUMBIA — Voters approved the Boone County Fire Protection District's $14 million bond issue Tuesday.
The bond issue passed with 72 percent of the vote. It needed at least 57 percent to pass.
- 3,042 voted for it
- 1,184 voted against it
The fire district held its watch party at The Broadway's rooftop bar. The atmosphere was serene. After the results became final, firefighters and fire district board members clinked glasses and shook hands.
"We're really excited about it," said John Sam Williamson, board member and fire district treasurer. "We really needed to replace some of this equipment sooner."
The last time a bond was issued to the fire district was in 1998. That $7 million bond elapsed in 2009, but the fire district waited until economic conditions improved to ask for another.
"We're obviously very excited," fire district Chief Scott Olsen said. "Now it's the next step, a lot more work to do."
About $7.1 million will go toward new facilities:
- A new station east of Route HH.
- A new building for Station 13 on North Route E.
- Land for a new location for Station 12, which is currently near Highway WW.
- Expansions for 11 of the fire district's 15 stations.
The fire district will use $6.9 million to refurbish old equipment and acquire:
- Seven new fire engines.
- Three new tankers.
- Three new brush trucks.
- Two new rescue squads.
For the next 10 years, personal property and real estate property taxes in the fire district will increase by about 25 cents per $100 of assessed value. After that, the amount will decrease by 15 cents for another 10 years.
The fire district encompasses all of Boone County north of Deer Park Road, except for Columbia and Centralia. It covers almost 500 square miles.