Bismarck Voters Approve Fire Tax | Elections

Voters in Bismarck passed a tax levy in Tuesday’s ballot aimed at securing much-needed funding for firefighters.

The final vote came to 206 in favor of the measure, with 167 voting against.

Bismarck Fire Chief John Colwell said the department is ready to use the additional funds to bolster fire protection services for area citizens.

“We’re super excited and greatly appreciate our community coming out and supporting us,” Colwell said. “We look forward to improving ourselves and being able to provide the best possible coverage to our community…and we’re ready to start putting wheels in motion, making improvements and working to give back to our community.”

The tax levy adopted by voters allows $0.30 per $100 of personal and real property assessment.

The fire department has existed as three separate entities: the Bismarck City Fire Department, the Bismarck Rural Fire Protection Association, and the Bismarck Fire Protection District.

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The City of Bismarck Fire Department is funded by general income tax levied within the city limits. The Bismarck Rural Fire Protection Association covers everything outside the city limits of Bismarck and is funded solely by annual fire tag sales and fundraising.

The third entity, the Bismarck Fire Protection District, was created in August 2000 with voter approval, but without funding.

Now that the levy has been approved, the City of Bismarck Fire Department and the Bismarck Rural Fire Protection Association will be disbanded, and the Bismarck Fire Protection District will remain the sole operating entity.

Bismarck voters also approved Proposition 1 for the city collector’s office, with 102 votes in favor and 76 against.

Approval of Proposition 1 allows the Bismarck Board of Aldermen to appoint a city collector. Before voters passed the measure, the job of city collector was an elected position within Bismarck. The Board of Aldermen currently does not have a specific person chosen to serve as the city receiver.

Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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