Minimal tax would improve fire station’s safety

Local News

COWDEN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Cowden Fire Protection District needs more money. Leaders say, if they can’t raise taxes, they’ll have to cut medical services.

The mayor says the department doesn’t need the money. He doesn’t support raising taxes, but he’s also never gone to a meeting to find out what the department needs.

“You can see we have a major leak about our breaker box from leaky pipes to moldy walls. We do have black mold growing now because there is moisture.”

The Cowden Fire Protection District says it needs money to fix the crumbling station.

“We’re getting $24,000 in property taxes. We’re looking at about $60,000 to fix the building.”

It would mean the owner of a $100,000 home would pay about $50 more per year.

“I’ve talked to several people and it’s going to increase a lot of properties about $9 – $15 range.”

But, not everyone in town thinks it’s worth it.

“They just need to use what equipment they’ve got and get by.”

The mayor’s wife says they don’t need updated equipment.

“I can remember when there was a fire across the street here and they couldn’t get the fire trucks started, but they didn’t try to increase our taxes to get new equipment. You just done with what you had.”

But, fire officials say, without the money, “Right now, it’s looking like we will have to cut EMS.”

People say that can’t happen.

“Too bad mayor. It’s all I can say. We need EMS here.”

“We ain’t lying. The building does need fixed. It leaks.”

The fire protection trustee says, regardless, EMS is safe until May 2019. The vote will affect medical services after that date. If the vote fails Tuesday, they’ll try again in the fall. 

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