Winfield voters once again reject fire district tax increase
Firefighters in Winfield will have to go back to the drawing board now that voters have once again turned down a tax increase request.
Voters on Tuesday handed the Winfield Fire Protection District its third consecutive referendum defeat in as many elections.
This time, the measure was rejected by nearly 54% of voters. Unofficial tallies show 1,701 were opposed and 1,464 were in support of the request to raise property taxes to allow the district to hire the personnel needed to reopen a shuttered fire station.
The increase would have cost the owner of a $200,000 house roughly $188 in additional taxes to the district.
The station near Roosevelt and Winfield roads opened in the early 1980s but has sat dormant for years. Staffing the station with firefighter-paramedics would help reduce response times to emergency calls in the south end of the district, fire officials said.
Facing a growing call volume, the district now has one engine company and one ambulance company on duty daily. From their downtown station, crews have to cross railroad tracks to get to the south side of the district's 13-square-mile coverage area.
"That additional staffing and the equipment they would be responding on wouldn't fit in the facility we're using now," Fire Chief Steve Evans said earlier this year.
He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The district also sought to make building improvements to the vacant station and to replace an inoperable, 1990s-era fire engine parked inside.
Had voters approved the request, estimates showed the tax increase would have generated roughly $2 million more a year for the district.