SUN LAKES FIRE DISTRICT
FAQ’s & ANSWERS
This pertains to the 2016 November 8th election proposal to authorize a temporary $.25 per $100 of assessed limited property value (LPV) tax levy increase.
If you have additional questions, please call us at 480-895-9343.
Sun Lakes Fire District is a political subdivision of the State of Arizona, formed under A.R.S. Title 48, Chapter 5. The District is governed by an elected five member board. The District covers 6.75 square miles.
The Sun Lakes Fire District has two stations staffed full-time. Each station responds one Advanced Life Support (ALS) Engine (Engine 231, Engine 232) staffed with four personnel (two paramedics, two EMT's) and one ALS ambulance (Medic 231, Rescue 232) staffed with one EMT and one Paramedic.
We provide our community with fire protection, emergency medical service, emergency ambulance transportation, fire prevention and inspections, public education, code enforcement, and hazardous material responses. Personnel respond to approximately 3700 calls for service annually.
Sun Lakes Fire District is a member of the Phoenix Regional Automatic Aid System.
What is the Override?
An override vote “YES” shall authorize the Fire District Board of Directors to temporarily increase the levy amount by 25 cents, not to exceed the tax levy of $3.50 per $100 of assessed limited property values (LPV) of properties for five years. At the end of the five years, the tax levy rate will return to the Arizona Legislature approved rate.
A “NO” vote would not allow the District Board the ability to increase the levy beyond the existing levy of $3.25 per $100 of assessed limited property values (LPV).
The purpose of the override:
To maintain the District’s infrastructure and capital needs: fire apparatus replacement, building maintenance and protective firefighting equipment. The Fire District operates under strict federal, State and local standards in order to provide our community with a high quality of services while creating a safe working environment for our personnel. For the safety of our firefighters and safety of those they protect, the system must have reliable and up-to-date equipment and apparatus.
Due to years of decline in assessed property values (-36% over the last six years), the District has had to utilize funds allocated for capital needs to fund the general budget. This has put a major strain on our ability to properly maintain and replace fire trucks, repair and maintain fire stations and provide our firefighters with the safety equipment they need to meet industry best standards.
In order for the District to remain out of debt and not have to take out loans, the District must maintain 10% to 20% in its annual budget in capital reserves to pay for planned purchases. Currently, the District has only 2% in reserves.
What have we done to lower our spending while still trying to maintain the level of services that our customers have become used to receiving?
- All non-essential expenditures have been removed from our budget.
- Office hours have been cut to a 32 hour work week.
- Apparatus maintenance has been cut to a point where any future cuts would be unacceptable.
What would a “YES” vote mean?
- Allow for the purchase of a fire engine which is 2 years overdue for replacement.
- Make needed repairs and maintenance to the fire stations.
- Replacement of outdated cardiac heart monitors.
- Provide for the replacement of firefighter’s protective gear and equipment.
- This increase will cost the average homeowner about $4.17 a month or $0.14 a day.
What would a “NO” vote mean?
- The District will go into debt for apparatus replacement.
- Building repairs will be significantly effected and preventive maintenance will be affected.
- The District will not be able to continue to meet National and State and industry standards.
- Staffing levels may be cut below the current levels, thus increasing response times.
Sun Lakes Fire Department Medical Flash Drive Program
The Sun Lakes Fire Department and Community Assistance Program (CAP) are offering a medical flash drive prgram in order to improve the efficiency of medical care received by their patients. By using a simple flash drive, SLFD will have access to a patients medical information immediately when responding to an emergency. The flash drive is marked to alert SLFD that it contains your medical information and is also pre-loaded with emergency medical and emergency contact information.
HOW TO USE THE FLASH DRIVE
It’s very easy. Simply insert the Medical Flash Drive into the USB port on your computer, then open the forms and fill in the information. The Medical Flash drive is small and easy to carry in a purse or pocket. You can use the attachment loop to keep it on a keychain or lanyard. You never know when an emergency may occur whether it be a car accident, medical health situation that renders you unable to communicate with emergency technicians or something else. This program will help emergency first responders help you more efficiently and accurately.
You can contact the Sun Lakes Fire Department at 480-895-9343 or email SLFDHaveItReady@gmail.com to ask your questions. If you need assistance entering the information, check The Splash newspaper as they will be offering articles with monthly dates and times for appointments with a CAP representative. And, a tutorial class will be available at the New Adventures for Learning Center at 25105 Alma School Road. This class requires registration by calling 480-857-5500.
The Kolb Team with ReMax Infinity is a proud sponsor of the Sun Lakes Fire Department Medical Flash Drive program. Accidents happen – both at home and in the car. Don’t wait until an emergency happens when it may be too late. Call the SLFD and ask about the Medical Flash Drive. Enter those medications you are allergic to and make sure the appropriate emergency information and contact are in the Flash Drive. It could save your life!