October 20, 2022
Fire District Invites Community to Learn More About November Ballot Measures
Second station planned for south side of district; come learn more at two Q&A sessions
Kuna, Idaho — The Kuna Rural Fire District invites community members to learn more about the operations levy increase and bond proposal that will be on the November 8, 2022, General Election ballot.
Fire district officials will host two opportunities for community members to ask questions about the ballot measures to improve emergency services:
· Wednesday, October 26 at 6 p.m.
· Saturday, October 29 at 1 p.m.
Both will be held at Station 1 located at 150 W. Boise Street.
“We have been talking with residents about the challenges facing emergency services, and I encourage people to learn more about why these measures are on the ballot,” Fire Chief T.J. Lawrence said. “Community support is needed to meet the growing emergency service demands of our community.”
Staffing levels are not keeping up with population growth and increasing call volumes
Emergency call volumes have increased 72.4 percent in the last 10 years (17.3 percent in the last year alone). Overlapping calls – emergency calls that come in at the same time – happen almost 25 percent of the time and that number continues to rise.
The fire district’s population growth has resulted in more calls for service while staffing levels have remained largely unchanged. The fire district has just five firefighters per shift to respond to more than 2,000 calls a year – and at times there are no Kuna firefighters to send on 911 calls.
How does the district plan to solve these challenges?
The fire district will have two proposals on the November ballot. One is a small operations levy that will fund up to six additional emergency personnel. The additional firefighters will reduce response times, guarantee unit reliability, and improve community safety.
The other proposal is a bond to build a second fire station south of the railroad tracks to add capacity and improve service reliability across the entire district. Ideally, a community should have one fire station per 10,000 people. Kuna has only one that serves nearly 34,000 people.
What is the cost?
The cost for both proposals is $6.79 per month ($81.45 per year) for the owner of a $346,000 home with the primary residence exemption, which is considered the average for the area.
“This funding plan is a result of listening to our taxpayers, finding a way to make these service improvements, and reducing the annual cost they would pay,” Chief Lawrence said.
More information on the levy and bond proposals can be found at www.kunafire.com. Chief Lawrence is also available to answer questions personally at email@example.com or 208-922-1144 ext. 2.
The Kuna Rural Fire District (KRFD) provides fire suppression, life safety, and emergency medical services to 33,390 people across 110 square miles. Fifteen full-time firefighters responded to more than 2,007 calls in 2021 – a 72.42% increase compared to 10 years ago. EMS accounts for 63% of all calls, and overlapping calls occur 25% of the time. The agency operates under a balanced budget, is debt free, and has passed all its independent audits per state law.