Fire District No. 1 proposes slight mill levy decrease

By John Richmeier
Leavenworth Times – July 25, 2018

Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 is proposing a slight decrease to its property tax mill levy for 2019.

The current mill levy for the fire district is 8.99 mills. The mill levy for the proposed 2019 budget is 8.918 mills.

The mill levy is used in determining property taxes.
Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 provides fire protection services to the city of Lansing and the Delaware and High Prairie townships. The fire district levies its own property taxes.

Rick Huhn, chief of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1, said the reduction in the mill levy means the owner of a $200,000 home would pay $1.66 less in property taxes to the fire district in 2019 when compared to the current tax rate.

Despite the slight decrease in the mill levy, it is estimated the total amount of money generated through property taxes will increase. That is because the overall assessed valuation of property in the fire district has increased.

Total expenditures for the fire district would increase in 2019 by about $300,000 under the proposed budget. Huhn said most of the increases in the expenditures is due to the planned purchase of new air packs for firefighters.

He said equipment reserve funds will be used to purchase the new air packs.

He said district officials have applied for a grant that could help pay for the purchase of the new air packs.

“We may get it,” Huhn said of the grant. “We may not.”

The proposed budget also includes funding for an assistant chief position.

The fire district currently has an assistant chief, Todd Farley. But Farley will take over as chief when Huhn retires later this year.

Huhn said there are benefits to having an assistant chief.

He said Farley has been filling in for other firefighter positions, saving in overtime expenses.

Huhn said the assistant chief also helps with a lot of paperwork.

The Fire District No. 1 Board of Directors will have a public hearing on the proposed budget at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Lansing fire station, 111 E. Kansas Ave. Following the hearing, board members will be able to vote to approve the budget.

A notice of the public hearing, along with information about the proposed budget, was published in the weekend edition of the Leavenworth Times. The publication of the information sets caps on expenditures for 2019 and the amount of money that can be collected through property taxes.

The 2019 budget may be the last annual budget for Fire District No. 1. Last month, Lansing City Council members announced their plans to withdraw from the fire district at the end of 2019.

City officials plan to establish a Lansing Fire Department by utilizing personnel and equipment from Fire District No. 1.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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