Since 1951, when the New Melle Fire Protection District was established, we have always been extremely conscientious of your hard-earned tax dollars. We have stretched every dollar as far as possible to give the taxpayers the most efficient and effective equipment and manpower possible.
Over time, and with expansive growth of the District, many costly modifications, and adjustments must be completed, which the District is cognizant of each year as we set a budget. As we evolve into a premier Fire District, we strive to provide increased services to our community and have recently encountered an increased demand for that service. We are responsible for the safety and protection of a sizable region. Of all St. Charles County Fire Districts, we cover the largest geographical area at 121 square miles of St. Charles and Warren Counties.
Our aging infrastructure is becoming more difficult and costly to maintain, thus putting a strain on the rapid response to our citizens. For example, the current Station 1, where the career staff are stationed, was built in 1991 as a volunteer station and has been remodeled over the past 30 years to accommodate firefighters being there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. At this time, our career on-duty crews have living quarters located in the basement of our station, further delaying our response. At the same time, our other stations are also in need of dire improvements.
Some years ago, it was decided that other than general maintenance and repairs, our District would limit upgrades to the infrastructure and equipment. The costs of these repairs were simply outweighing the benefits. The Fire District felt that “to best serve the citizens of our District” it was prudent to be conscientious of your tax dollars and provide a more economical solution. In recent months, the District has proposed new resources and infrastructure to meet today’s needs. These needs include a blueprint for rapid response, housing of more complicated and multi-faceted response equipment, enhanced security and safety of your emergency response personnel which incorporate enhancements to staff training rooms that are essential for ongoing firefighting and EMS training of career and volunteer firefighters. The need is to ensure our facilities and resources will meet current standards and regulations required to put you, the citizen, F.I.R.S.T.
In order to complete these much-needed improvements, the New Melle Fire Protection District will be placing Proposition FIRE on the ballot for this November. Prop FIRE is a $7 million General Obligation Bond for capital improvements to support the additional infrastructure and resources needed, including building a new station and upgrading existing fire stations. Once upgrades to our life saving equipment and infrastructure are completed, the District will have the opportunity to expand our staffing in a way that will enhance the services provided to the citizens of our area.
The goal remains to equip ourselves with the most advanced resources conducive to serving and protecting our community efficiently and effectively. More detailed information can be found online on the District website, www.newmellefire.org, as well as on social media by NMFPD.