An $8 million bond issue will be decided by Boone County voters on April 4.
The Boone County Fire Protection District is asking voters to approve a no-tax-increase bond issue to fund new fire apparatus, facilities and equipment.
According to a news release from the district, the bond is a continuation of the fire district's 10-year capital improvement plan. Under the plan, the fire district asks voters to approve bond issues every two years to fund the replacement, upgrade and improvement of equipment, vehicles and facilities.
In 2014, Boone County voters approved a 25 cent bond tax to pay for this type of spending. The release emphasizes that the issue on the April 4 ballot will not increase taxes of any kind, but will continue the bond tax passed in 2014.
The fire district plans to use the $8 million to purchase a new fire engine and two 1,500-gallon fire tanker trucks and new equipment such as thermal imaging cameras and battery-powered vehicle extrication equipment, and conduct the design/construction of a new fire station on South Route K.
The bonds will be paid off over time by the existing 25-cent tax, according to the release. The vehicles and equipment will take eight years to pay off, while the replacement of Fire Station 8 will take 20 years to pay off.
In 2021, voters approved a $6 million fire district bond that was used to replace 13 fire trucks and purchase the land for the new fire station.
The release said the bond issue is needed because some of the fire district's fleet is more than 20 years old, which exceeds the vehicles' life expectancy. The station on South Route K is almost 40 years old and has "outlived" its usefulness, the release said.
There is another station, Station 5 in Prathersville, that is also almost 40 years old, according to the release. In 2025, the fire district will put another bond issue on the ballot to get funds to build a replacement for that station.
Early voting in Boone County opens March 21 and will continue until April 3. The deadline to apply to have an absentee ballot mailed to you is March 22.
The Boone County Clerk's office will also be open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, April 1.
The polls open at 6 a.m. April 4 and close at 7 p.m. If you're in line when the polls close, your vote can still be cast.