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Falcon Fire Protection District (FFPD)

FFPD August board meeting

The Falcon Fire Protection District held two board meetings in August to address the potential mill levy increase slated for the November election.The board adopted a resolution to participate in the election and appoint a designated election officer.On Aug. 23, The FFPD paid the ballot down payment requirement of $21,450.The FFPD is asking for a 2.9 mill levy increase on the November ballot. The increase will bring the mill levy up to 8.612 from 5.712. “That is the number it takes on our 10-year plan at 3 percent growth to maintain our current delivery rate,” said Trent Harwig, fire chief. “It doesn’t build a new fire station or hire new firefighters.”Harwig said the 3 percent growth rate is the figure used by the county. One audience member suggested a zero percent growth rate, but Daniel Kupferer, board director, said zero percent is unrealistic, especially when they are planning for the next 10 years.”In Colorado, the assessed value of residential property is 7.96 percent of its market value. Commercial property and vacant land (non-agricultural) is assessed at 21 percent of the market value,” Harwig said.”What we’re doing here is about as conservative and realistic as we can get.”In an e-mail to the NFH, Harwig gave an example of the implications of the mill levy in relation to property values and property tax.”Most residential property in our area had a market value drop of 10-15 percent this year, which will drop the amount they pay in property tax by the same amount. Taking a market value drop of 15 percent into consideration, the extra amount a residential property will pay looks more like this.”This year, $1,485.71 was paid in property taxes for a home worth $250,000 in Woodmen Hills.”Next year, if that same home lost 15 percent (in value) property taxes would be $1,262.86 – a realized savings of $222.85.”Falcon Fire would like $31.98 of that realized reduction in taxes back. If the owners of this example home would approve the Fire District mill increase, they would still have a total realized reduction in next year’s taxes of $190.87.”Kelly Starkman, board vice president, voiced concern about paying the money (down payment) and then losing the election. “What’s the alternative?” Harwig asked. “Spending that money is a one-time cost.” Kupferer added, “We can’t spend that money to fund a position continually.”During the Aug. 17 meeting, average response times also were among the issues discussed.When calculating the average response time for a call, Harwig said the response is measured from the time the call comes in until the last – not the first – vehicle arrives on the scene. “Without a doubt, on every one of them, it’s less,” Harwig said. To reach a more accurate response time, Harwig removed data that wasn’t Falcon-specific, such as an FFPD response to a call in another district per the mutual aid agreement. “I didn’t find numbers that truly were high and truly were (our call),” Harwig said. “All the response times now show our capability. Before, we weren’t showing it.”The board also discussed leasing a portion of land adjacent to fire station No. 1 to Woodmen Hills Metropolitan District. The FFPD provided $2,000 of the $25,000 WHMD has raised; the county will match that amount to construct a park. It was the consensus of the board that they get approval to draft the lease.

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