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Henderson residents to vote on tax hike for fire department improvements

Updated June 6, 2024 - 1:16 pm

Henderson residents will weigh in this fall on a ballot measure that would fund improvements to the city Fire Department through a property tax increase and the sale of nearly $28 million in bonds.

The Henderson City Council on Tuesday approved Resolution 48, which adds a ballot question asking residents whether they want to fund Fire Department improvements and maintenance.

The city plans to sell $27.5 million in bonds to cover renovation costs for aging fire stations. Maintenance and operational costs will be covered with an increase of an additional 6 cents for every $100 that a property is valued.

Henderson Fire Chief Shawn White, in a Feb. 20 presentation, told the council he was seeking funds to renovate aging stations, as well as money to fund maintenance and operational costs. White noted that seven stations will require renovations.

White also highlighted the increasing volume of EMS and how that affects response times.

“If you look at emergency medical call volume, in the last five years, EMS calls increased from over 26,000 to nearly 32,000, an increase of 5,500 calls or 21 percent,” he told the council.

Transports, he said, are important to analyze because when one is needed, that ambulance is out of service for about an hour.

Increased call volume for emergency medical services also is an indicator of an aging population, White said, noting that as residents get older, they tend to have health problems that require services more often.

Funding is also needed to replace vehicle parts such as engines and to purchase medical equipment. White noted that vehicle parts and medical equipment prices have increased due to inflation.

Henderson residents will vote on the ballot measure in the Nov. 5 general election.

Contact Annie Vong at avong@reviewjournal.com.

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