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Voters to Decide on Tax Increase for Rock Community Fire District

The district is seeking a $10 million bond issue on the April ballot that could cost taxpayers up to 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, according to the "Arnold-Imperial Leader."

Voters in the Rock Community Fire Protection District will be deciding on a $10 million bond issue that would end up costing taxpayers between 9 and 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

The money would be used to fund improvements to Fire House No. 1 off Jeffco Boulevard in Arnold, to buy new equipment and to refinance existing debt, according to a Jan. 17 article in the Arnold-Imperial Leader. The proposition would need approval by a four-sevenths majority vote to pass.

Preliminary plans call for about $6 million of the bond issue to refinance existing debt, reports the weekly newspaper. The rest would be used for fire house improvements and new equipment, including two new firetrucks, breathing apparatus and other equipment.

Ron Harder, a district spokesman, told Patch that the district is in "dire need" of self-contained breathing apparatus, which consists of the mask/tank combo firefighters use when entering smoke-filled buildings.

"Each mask is retrofitted to each individual firefighter's face so the smoke can't get in," he said.

Harder said Fire Chief Jim Allred is working on an outline of the projects the bond issue would pay for and specific costs. Allred was unavailable for comment late Wednesday afternoon.

The district serves Arnold, Kimmswick and parts of Imperial and Barnhart.

Patch will provide additional updates as they become available.

Jim Allred January 28, 2013 at 09:05 PM
1. Why would there be overtime? 8 to 4 = 8 hours x 5 = 40 hours, 8 to 430 = 8.5 hours x 5 = 42.5 hours = overtime 2. How many people in our District get off work before 4pm? I don't know. How many get off before 4:30? If anyone needs to conduct business with the district they can call and make arrangments and we will work with them to meet their needs. We have not had complaints expressed to us on the 1/2 hour difference. We will always try to meet the needs of those we serve. 3. Administrative personnel not completely removed from their duties? No. They routinely answer phones, work through lunch and serve those who come in during lunch times. I see them get up from their lunch or eat at their desks on a regular basis. Some are also subject to being called to fires and code enforcement duties. 4. So your secretaries work through their lunch? Yes as stated above. Hence the 8-4 rather than 8-4:30. 5. Why have an automated answering service? To make the administrative assistants more efficient. They no longer have to answer calls for everyone in the department. Those calling can get directly to those they are calling. Please call or stop by to discuss these matters with me personally. Jim Allred Fire Chief 636-296-2211
Jim Allred January 28, 2013 at 09:28 PM
6. Why do your secretaries make $50k per year? Because that is what the Board of Directors has approved. 7. Why does your Mechanic make $58k per year? Because that is what the Board of Directors has approved. 8. Why does your Mechanic have a $3k per year uniform allowance? The mechanic does not have a 3K uiform allowance. The mechanic has the same allowance as all other personnel. The 3K you refer to is for a uniform service that is common to repair shops and covers other things like floor matts, soiled uniforms, shop towels, etc. It is common for a repair shop to contract those things out. 9. Why does the Department let administrative personnel take vehicles home when they don’t live in district? Because they are subject to responding to emergency calls and fires on their off-duty times. Of 8 administrative personnel assigned vehicles, two live outside the district. Both of those live within a couple miles of district borders and can get to some areas of the district faster than those that do live in the district. 10. Why not let the firefighters go to a 48/96 shift when they voted for it? Who reading this gets to vote on their work hours? Employers set work hours to best meet the mission at hand. Every firefighter here signed up to work 24 hour shifts. The management staff does not believe it is in the best interest of those we serve to have firefighters working 48 hour shifts. Jim Allred Fire Chief 636-296-2211
Pat L. January 28, 2013 at 10:48 PM
1. That makes no since. If you have 2 secretaries they can take turns eating lunch. 2. Not too many people get off before 4p or 4:30p. What not have regular business hours like 9a-5p or 9a-6p with alternating lunches? Now you have a complaint! 3. I understand they get called out on emergency calls that’s their job. 4. Read statement 1. 5. Having an automated answering service should allow administration to leave duties for lunch. 6 & 7. The Board needs to re-think this. 8. That's a lot of money for uniforms, shop towels, matts, ect... 9. I don't care if they live a 1/2 out of district, it's still out of the district and it shouldn't be allowed. 10. I know a lot of people that get to vote on their work time and the days they work. One of the missions at hand is to save money and this shift has proven that fact. I am one of those who is served by RCFPD, and if these firemen are trying to save the community money I think it should be tried out for a year.
Bryan Menke January 29, 2013 at 05:05 PM
I think if people really stand behind their opinions on here that they should attach their full names to them. This is my opinion. Bryan Menke
Lindsay Toler January 29, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Chief Allred, I just wanted to thank you for answering all our questions and being so accessible here! Thanks for the information. -LT

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