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Knik Area Property Owners Fire Service Area Increase Request

Mat-Su Fire Department officials want to raise the fire service area mill rate from 1.00 to 1.75---
In other words to nearly double the fire service area mill rate.

As a Knik property owner myself, I (Margie Bauman) have talked with firefighters who run in the borough, and also happen to live on narrow dirt roads,. This is what they said:
1. We have no fire hydrants, so water has to be brought in on tankers, and when the tankers run out of water, they leave to refill. The nearly water supply areas are Fish Creek and Knik Lake and Station 62, Yes, some fire vehicles also carry foam, but is this enough to save your home if the woods around your home are also burning???
2. Many roads off the Knik Goose Bay Road are poorly maintained, narrow and dead end streets. It is difficult for fire vehicles to get out to get more water.
3. The service we get depends on when the fire happens. During normal work week hours, far fewer firefighters available. The fire department will tell you house fires are considered "an all-call" and they will call for all available resources. The key word here is "AVAILABLE." What if they are not available?
4. What the increased mill rate will do is provide good fire service to new subdivisions, particularly those with city water supply. Ask yourself whether you want to pay more taxes to provide improved fire services for all the new homes, while our fire protection remains the same.


Borough Assemblywoman Jody Simpson (892-5639) provided the following info:

Borough Manager John Duffy will introduce his FY 2005 budget to the Assembly on April 20th. The Assembly will hold four worksessions on the proposed budget:

6 p.m., Thurs., April 22 ... Administration, Law, Clerk/Assembly, Mayor
6 p.m., Tues., April 27 ... School District, Community Development, Finance, Planning
6 p.m., Thurs., April 29 ... Public Safety, Public Works, any remaining budget issues
6 p.m., Thurs., May 6 ... Any remaining budget issues

Public hearings on the budget are slated for 7 p.m. on May 6 and May 11, and a special meeting to adopt the budget is set for 6p.m. on Thursday, May 13.

In District 5, the Wasilla Lakes Fire Service Area Board of Supervisors is recommending an increase from 1.00 mills to 1.50 mills this fiscal year. The Big Lake Fire Service Area Board of Supervisors is not recommending any change to the mill rate. The Board next meets at 7p on Monday, April 12, at Station 61 in Wasilla. The Road Service Area 17 (Knik) Board of Supervisors is recommending a mill rate increase from 2.00 mills to 2.75 mills. The Board next meets on Thursday, April 8, at 6:30p at Station 6-2 on KGB Road. No changes are being requested for the Big Lake RSA 21 or Fairview RSA 14 road service areas.

More information on this year's budget cycle can be obtained by calling Tammy Clayton, MSB's Finance Director, at 745-9630. The Manager's FY 2005 budget proposal will also be posted on the borough's webpage some time after April 20.