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WASTE WATCH Midway Fire District rates going up

Updated: Wednesday, October 2 2013, 06:57 PM CDT
WASTE WATCH  Midway Fire District rates going up story image
MIDWAY   --  Nobody wants to pay more taxes, but what if those extra tax dollars are needed to keep your family safe?
The price of protecting your home is going up for the Midway Fire District, and they are getting increased funding from their tax paying neighbors.

Tough economic times hit us all. That includes the Midway Fire Department.
They've been granted another millage increase their fire fees, because you can't put a price on safety.

The Midway Fire Commission was unanimous, voting to increase residents' millage rate for an increase in fire fees.
A few residents questioned the increase, but most see the value from their tax dollars.

"I think our firefighters really work hard here. Not only that, they do a lot around the community. Like they do, they have a day when they have the kids in the chairs and show new moms how to put them in," says Tracie McMahon, who lives in Midway.

"I think people feel they're getting the most bang for their buck, and they feel we are operating efficiently. We're open with our finances. We put our finances on our website," says Midway Fire Chief Jonathan Kanzigg.

Since 2007, the Midway department has been working with a smaller staff, trying to maintain safety, and not bust the budget.
It's been hard to do.

"Since 2008, we've borrowed money out of our reserve account to pay our bills every year. This year we're actually going to borrow money from the bank to pay our bills - about 60-70 thousand dollars," says Kanzigg.

The increased millage rate, and strict attention to spending, will help the department pay back the loan - and eventually rebuild the reserve fund.
The area is growing, and while that could mean more funding for Midway, it's also more fires, more accidents...

 "And the workload is just going to increase. It's not going to decrease," continues Kanzigg

Neighbors are proud of their fire department, and glad they're always on call.

"I just think that they're well worth it. And I think we're worth it. My kids are worth it. You know, paying the extra to keep everybody safe out here," says McMahon.

The millage rate could have gone to a full two mills, but the fire department here is trying to find a way to balance the budget without the full increase.

WASTE WATCH Midway Fire District rates going up
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