Several Citizens attended the meeting at the Waurika Depot Thursday evening to find out more information about Tuesday’s Bond Election.
The Bond Election will decide if citizen’s of Waurika want to pass the bond that will allow the Waurika Fire Department to purchase much needed fire equipment and vehicles.
Some of the items to be purchased will include a ladder truck, six storm shelters, battery backup sirens, a rescue truck, jaws of life.
There are several reasons for needing a ladder truck. One is the courthouse. If there was a fire in the courthouse we currently do not have a truck with a ladder that could reach the third floor. Also, there is about to be a major expansion at the Jefferson County Hospital that a ladder truck would be needed to fight any fire that may occur at that facility. The other reason is the safety of the volunteer fire fighters. Currently, they have to sometimes be on the roofs of houses that are on fire. The ladder truck would enable them to fight the fire without having to stand on the burning building’s roof.
The addition of the new storm shelters would be very beneficial. Currently, students at the high school can not use the locker rooms as a storm shelter because of the gas lines.
The new sirens will have a battery backup that will be essential if the power goes out during a storm or tornado.
Another benefit to the new trucks would be the possibility of lowing the cities insurance rating. If that happens, property insurance would go down. Waurika is currently at a class 5 and could possibly drop to a 4 or 3. The lower the rating, the lower the cost of property insurance.
Rick Smith, owner of Municipal Finance Services, was on hand to talk about the bond and how it will affect citizen’s property taxes.
He has worked with the City of Waurika for over 20 years. He helped facilitate the Bond approved in 2004 in the amount of $320,000.00. That bond is about to expire so the new bond will just replace the 2004 one. In other words the bond will not be an additional tax as much as it will be replacing the expiring one.
Smith said during his presentation that another bond was the best route for Waurika.
If the bond passes, tax payers shouldn’t see much difference in their property taxes.
Smith says that even though the new bond is for more money, $450,000.00, it should be approved at a lower interest rate.
What will it cost tax payers?
The example he gave was that if you owned a $60,000.00 home, it should only cost the tax payer around $35.00 – $45.00 per year. It may be higher in the first few years, but as the property values increase the tax actually goes down.
The new taxes wouldn’t be due until 2019.
Like the 2004 bond, this bond would also be on a 15 year plan.
The bonds will be bid on by various banks including those in Waurika. If one of the local banks win the bid, it would be beneficial to the community.
Nobody likes to think about fires, especially property and structure fires. However, if and when they happen it helps to be more than prepared and have the essential equipment needed to but the fires out quickly and safely.