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Voters say yes to Polk Fire

POLK COUNTY — Voters gave overwhelming approval to Polk County Fire No. 1’s five-year operations levy.

Results posted Friday has the margin of victory at 3,009 or 77 percent voting yes to 906 or 23 percent voting no.

Polk No. 1 levy cost 19 cents per $1,000 of assessed value on properties and pays for adding a fourth firefighter-paramedic, a part-time fire marshal, and contributions to the district’s equipment replacement plan.

Fire Chief Ben Stange said while the measure passed with strong support, the district’s leaders will be cautious with the money.

“We going to be just as conservative in how we spend the money as if it had barely squeaked by,” he said.

He said the district will begin the process of adding the firefighter/paramedic after the 2018-19 budget is adopted in June.

Hiring a part-time fire marshal will take longer.

“That is something that we are starting from scratch,” Stange said.

He said he’s been in contact with other departments that have similar positions to build a job description.

Stange said he and the board will keep in mind the 906 people who voted to turn down the measure.

“We are very appreciative,” he said, “but that’s not lost on us.”

May 22, 2018 itemizer Observer