The Fountain City Fire Association (FCFA) has been operating out of an outdated building with aging trucks for some time. With financial commitments from the City of Fountain City, Town of Buffalo, Town of Cross and Town of Milton, the FCFA will be able to construct a new station and purchase an updated fire truck. All designed, to better serve these four communities. Fundraising with their annual firemen’s dance is simply not enough. Each community has committed to giving the FCFA $250,000.00 towards the construction of a new fire station and purchase of an upgraded fire truck.
The City of Fountain City is not able to support our share through normal budgets and is asking residents to support a referendum to fulfill our commitment. Public Safety is of utmost importance, but unfortunately that does come at a cost. Please vote on November 6th so we can keep our fire department operating at its fullest potential!
Please find below some frequently asked questions:
Why does Fountain City need a new Fire Station?
The Fountain City Fire Association has been a major asset for the community, enabling rapid response time for residence facing emergencies. The city must take action to secure alternative funding to ensure the continuance of high-quality fire protection.
How will this affect me?
The city is able to secure a low interest loan minimizing the tax impact. This allows the city to meet to the need of funding our share of improvements the Fire City Fire Association is making.
Why didn’t the city prepare for this?
The city has prepared the best it could with an ever changing council. Currently $25,000.00 has been saved for this purpose. Additionally we have received donations of $10,000 that will reduce the amount needed by the referendum.
What is the cost of the project?
The city’s share is $250,000.00. Three other surrounding townships, Buffalo, Cross, and Milton, will be contributing the same amount.
Who is the city borrowing from? Did we get a good rate?
We have received competitive rate quotes from three area banks: Waumandee State Bank, Bank of Alma and Arcadia State Bank. We have been offered a low interest rate as a municipality.
What other long term debt is the city carrying?
We have a loan remaining from the new construction adding onto city hall, referred to as the auditorium loan.
Why does the Fire Association need a new fire house and fire truck?
Demands for services continue to go up and our fire association is responding the best they can with aging equipment. The truck being replaced is xx years old and furthermore are being phased out of the industry because of safety. The current fire station is in the same situation. A very outdated building that forces the fire association to order custom sized trucks to fit into a building that is too small for standard sized trucks. The construction of a new fire station in a better location will allow the fire department to operate at its optimum. The new location also allows the fire association a safer and faster exit.
If the referendum passes when will our levy go down? Go away?
Our best offer for a loan that has the lowest annual impact on households is a 10 year loan. We can certainly choose a shorter loan, but the annual levy amount of course is then higher. If the city is able at any point to reduce the loan that will directly correlate to a reduction in time on the levy.
How much will my taxes go up?
Approx. $43 for properties valued at $100,000
What will happen if the referendum fails?
The city budget then bears the burden of carrying the loan in its entirety.
Why can’t the money be found from other city departments?
Like many rural municipalities the revenue we receive barely covers the expense of operating a city. We are a small community but major services like water and sewer are very expensive. As our community is well aware of the cost of keeping these types of services current to meet regulations and simply operating. The city council is faced with a historic city with a declining population and aging infrastructure but needs to keeps its commitments of providing high quality services. It’s a very tough balance.
Why weren’t the citizens informed about this project at an earlier date?
The city council worked very hard to find other solutions until we found ourselves at a crossroad that we simply don’t have the funds to cover this expense completely. The Fire Association is working at applications for grant funding and we are assisting as best we can. If grant funds are rewarded, the amount required from each community will be reduced. For Fountain City residents this would translate to a reduction in the levy.
Isn’t there grant money?
The Fire Association is actively seeking grant funds. If they receive any funding, it goes toward the entirety of the project and the 4 communities share will be equally reduced. For example, if they were awarded $40,000, Fountain City’s share would be reduced by $10,000.