More Thoughts On The Fire District
To The Editor:
If the voters of the Valley unwisely create a new fire district, please consider the fact that by statute, the Town of Estes Park would only be legally obligated to commit the seven percent of Town sales tax revenue to the Fire District through 2010. This was admitted at the public hearing before the County Commissioners earlier this year.
While many cities are adopting furloughs and layoffs, Estes Park has not-and apparently will not-significantly cut its spending. From 2007 to 2009, the General Fund budget increased $705,000 (over 9 percent) to $8.24 million. Some of that spending is clearly less essential than fire services. In 2009 the Town hired a public information officer at an advertised annual salary of $60,000. I’m certain the PIO is doing a fine job, but the Town Board is charged with setting spending priorities. Continuing to grow Town government in these economic times should be a lower priority than funding our fire services.
It always seems more convenient for the Town Board to seek a tax increase than say no to increased spending on discretionary programs. Estes Valley residents are already losing their senior “homestead” exemption on property taxes and paying higher car registration fees to the State. Estes Valley voters should say “no” to the Fire District.