Clifton FD gets $410k annually from measure 5A approval

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CLIFTON, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) Voters passed a tax increase for the Clifton Fire Protection District. It'll increase the mill levy by 2.25 mills.

It means the district will get $410,000 annually, which will be split into maintenance and improvement projects, and routine upkeep.

"I think it's a great idea and I'm glad it passed," said Janie Houck, a Clifton resident.

It passed in a landslide with 64 percent of voters saying yes and 36 percent saying no.

"When they're sent to save lives, it has to be the best and they have to have the equipment they need," said Mark Gomez, who lives in Fruitvale but is served by the fire district.

Officials said they'll replace radios first, so crews can communicate with other firefighters, departments and hospitals.

One of the bigger things on the list is replacing the brush truck which was made in the 1980's.

"Trying to find parts for a vehicle this old is almost impossible anymore without going to junkyards," Chief Charles Balke said. "We don't know when the next little gremlin will pop its head and we don't want that to happen on an emergency scene."

He said it'll take some time to get a new one, though.

"Depending on what we can find, replacement of this apparatus is still two years out," he said.

They'll also put the money into new gear.

"We need to replace this gear every ten years if not sooner, based on usage and wear and tear on them," he said.

Each set of gear for a firefighter is worth between $3,200 and $3,500. If this measure didn't pass, they would've only been able to buy three full suits, but now they can afford ten, and continue to buy ten for the next three to five years.

The money will also go toward hoses, nozzles and vehicle maintenance.

They'll also be able to up the pay for their part-time firefighters who are making minimum wage, and they're hoping to fill the vacancies with the measure passing.

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