The Ozark Fire Protection District received clearance from voters to issue $12.5 million in capital improvement bonds for buildings and apparatus.
A total of 1,110 voters selected “Yes” on “Proposition Fire,” giving it an approval of 57.25 percent. The returns show that 829 ballots were cast against the fire district’s bond proposal.
“Approval of this proposition will ensure long-range capital improvement funds for the fire district to maintain pace with the growth the Ozark area has seen continue, even through the pandemic,” Ozark Fire Chief Jarett Metheny said.
The request is part of a 10-year capital improvement plan that resulted from a strategic planning process in which the elected board of directors assessed fire protection needs throughout 110 square miles of the Ozark Fire Protection District.
Projects included in the bond issue are:
- Renovation/relocation of Fire Station No. 1, currently located off of Third Street near Finley River Park.
- Construction of Ozark Fire Station No. 4
- Construction of a training facility
- Purchase of an aerial apparatus. Currently, in the event of a fire at a multistory building, the Ozark Fire Protection District would rely on mutual aid from another fire department that has an aerial truck, such as the Nixa Fire Protection District.
- Purchase of two pumping apparatus, which have the capacity to power water through large hose lines.
- Repayment of current lease obligations
In concert with the approval of the ballot question, the Ozark Fire Protection District announced the redevelopment of its website, http://ozarkfire.org. Visitors are invited to explore and learn more about how the fire district functions.
The ballot measure was endorsed by the Ozark Chamber of Commerce and by the firefighters union that serves Ozark.
“This funding will ensure that the citizens and visitors of Ozark are able to receive the level of emergency services that the community expects from us,” said Matt Gallina, Shop Steward for the IAFF Local 152, Ozark Firefighters.
With a staff of 34 and three fire stations, the Ozark Fire Protection District provides emergency medical services, rescue, extrication, and community risk reduction services to the citizens and visitors of the district.