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Why? It will just raise my taxes if I am a property owner in the city of Twin Falls. “Pays nothing and receives nothing” would be a simple explanation. The fire stations have been in service since the 1960s and 1970s, with little or no upgrades since they were built. Thanks to the dedication of our firemen past and present, and despite the poor living and working conditions as well as the lack of proper training facilities, the Twin Falls Fire Department is still functioning but not in the 21st century. Your “Yes” vote on this bond will help Twin Falls Fire move forward and up to code.

The firemen work 48 hours straight and are off 96 hours. During that 48 hours, just some of the challenges they have are non-ADA compliant, no sprinkler system, no clean-up facilities as set by code, cramped living quarters with little or no privacy, lack of training areas, no facilities for female fire fighters, only one station to wash their turn outs, even sleeping on air mattresses plus numerous other problems.

Yes, $36 million is a lot of money. Yes, hind sight is 20/20, but now is the time to move forward. Building costs are only increasing. Your citizen’s committee recommended to the city council a 20-year bond as opposed to a 25-year bond — thus saving he city about $6 million.

Please note: A $300,000 home with an assessed value (not market value) will be taxed about $12 per month. This bond is not for equipment, only for the fire stations and the inside contents. No frills, just up-to-code with improved living, working and training conditions.

Presently some fire trucks and rescue vehicles are parked outside and must be winterized about five to six months per year. This is due to the lack of heated bays for said equipment. This means if they are needed, they must be de-winterized and loaded with water or other equipment before they can come to your home or business. Time is life and property saved.

I realize if you live in Twin Falls Rural Fire Protection District you are unable to vote. However, please ask your relatives and city friends to vote “Yes” for the Bond on May 21 or vote early at County West.

As members of the TFRFPD, we have a large stake in this bond election since we contract with the city of Twin Falls for our protection. Thus, what is good for the city is good for the district and vice versa.

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Jim Olson is the chairman of the Twin Falls Rural Fire Protection District.

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