Ballot Breakdown: Prop 3

Prop 3: Asks voters to extend the capital improvement tax
Sunday, November 6, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:56 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

If approved, the quarter-cent sales tax would generate an estimated $15 million to pay for firetrucks, fire stations, a police training facility and firing range and 21 outdoor warning sirens.

Firetrucks are the most expensive items on the list. Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Sapp said it would cost about $8 million to either buy or refurbish the 15 firetrucks on its list over the next 10 years. More than half the trucks are pumpers that in 2006 would cost $513,000 apiece, Sapp estimated.

The fire department also wants to relocate Fire Station No. 7 from 3601 S. Providence Road to an area at Green Meadows Road and Green Meadows Circle. In addition, it wants to build two new fire stations to improve response times in northern and eastern Columbia.

Building each station would cost $1.2 million to $1.5 million, Sapp said, but the cost of land and station equipment could push the total bill as high as $2.5 million.

The city has earmarked $1.2 million of the potential proceeds from Proposition 3 for a training facility and firing range for the Columbia Police Department. Capt. Mike Martin said the department currently has a contract with Green Valley Chapman Range south of Hallsville for firearms training and must hold regular training sessions in conference rooms of other buildings. The training facility would also provide space for parking police vehicles and to provide officers with driver training.

About $310,000 of the tax proceeds would be used to replace 21 outdoor warning sirens that alert residents in emergency weather situations. Some of the city’s sirens are 20 to 40 years old and are becoming difficult to maintain, officials said.

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