In 2000 the City of Monroe and the Monroe Fire Association joined to create the Monroe Fire Department. At that time, the citizens of Monroe passed a 2-mill Fire Levy. Without the revenue generated by the 2-mill Fire Levy, the merger of the two organizations could not have occurred. Revenue derived from the levy was used to replace outdated equipment and reconstruct the Main Street Fire Station. Levy moneys have also been used to help fund the fire operations at the level of service required of a growing city.
The 2000 levy is set to expire this year. The State’s Financial Planning and Supervisory Committee has recommended that a replacement 2-mill Fire Levy be placed on the May ballot to allow for the continuation of revenues used to operate the Monroe Fire Department at existing staffing levels. Council has followed the recommendations of the State Committee and has placed the replacement levy on the May 3, 2005 ballot.
Current operational costs of the department are $3.1 million, with revenue from the existing 2-mill Fire Levy accounting for approximately 14% of those costs. The remainder of the revenue required to operate the department is derived from two other fire levies and the City’s General Fund. General Fund revenue accounts for 52% of the operational costs of the department.
Local Government Fund budget cuts proposed by Governor Taft and the increased cost of operations continue to put a squeeze on the City’s General Fund. Replacement of the 2-mill Fire Levy, as a continuous levy, as recommended by the State’s Financial Planning and Supervisory Committee’s Fiscal Recovery Plan for the City of Monroe, will enable the City to continue to replace aging equipment and operate the Monroe Fire Department at a level required to keep up with the growing demands of an increasing population.
Because this is a replacement levy of the 2-mil Fire Levy, the County would base the levy on the updated assessed value of your home. For most homeowners, this would result in a slight annual increase of $20-$30 on their property tax bill beginning in 2006. This modest increase will generate an additional $120,000 annually for the operation of the Monroe Fire Department and help the department keep up with inflationary costs. Replacement of the levy will also keep an increased burden off the City’s General Fund, assisting in fiscal recovery.
The Chart below shows the increases in call volume attributed to our growing population. The Monroe Fire Department has responded to the increased numbers of runs with the same level of staffing for the past 10 years.
1997 2000 2004
EMS 1070 1104 1317
Fire 394 407 465
Total Calls 1464 1511 1782
Your Fire Department
The Monroe Fire Department has been serving the community since 1947. The department currently operates two fire stations and staffs them with full time personnel 24 hours a day. Each station has both EMS and fire fighting units. Currently, the department consists of 27 firefighters and emergency medical technicians and 3 administrative positions. The department provides more than fire suppression and emergency medical services. Staff is available to teach CPR, First Aid, and Fire Prevention. A free smoke detector program is also available for qualifying residents. These services, as well as tours of the fire stations, can be arranged by calling the Monroe Fire Department at 539-8380.