Dallas March 2017 Bond Measure
SW Polk Rural Fire Protection District covers approximately 123 square miles around the City of Dallas, in Polk County. Our jurisdiction includes the communities of Salt Creek, Oak Grove, Bridgeport and Rickreall; with a District population of roughly 6,100. The District was formed in 1947 “to provide more adequate protection for rural residents, their homes and crops.” SW Polk protects primarily large agricultural developments and small residential areas including significant investments in grass seed farming and winery/vineyard operations. Additionally, the District was formed to have the immediate effect of reducing insurance premiums on property within the boundaries of the District. The District operates one fire station in Rickreall; while contracting for administrative and operational services from the Dallas Fire & EMS Department of the City of Dallas. Over the years, the response incidents for the District have shifted from fires to more medical and rescue emergencies. A five member Board of Directors are elected from the District constituents to represent the public by establishing policy, approving the budget and adopting ordinances. The Fire Chief is contracted through the administrative services contract with the City of Dallas. The Fire Chief serves as Chief Executive Officer, Budget Officer and oversees the daily operations of the District.
The District Board of Directors has determined significant needs exist within the District that can only be met by asking voters to consider a bond measure. The Board of Directors was first made aware of the financial situation in August 2015. The District needs were reported publicly through an IO article in September 2015. Since that time, the Board has been evaluating the district’s current and future needs, educating themselves on financial solutions, and creating a corrective course of action. This bond measure is a portion of that corrective action plan.
The decision to ask District members for the bond measure was completed only after an extensive study and planning by both internal resources and external fire service experts. An initial review of both Dallas Fire & EMS and Southwestern Polk County RFPD was completed in early 2016 by Emergency Services Consulting International. The final document is downloadable here or below.
After the Master Plan was complete and the recommendations considered, a combined work group of Dallas Fire & EMS and SW Polk Fire District representatives worked together for two days to create a comprehensive strategic plan with specific goals to improve service to the residents in our response areas. The final document is downloadable here or below.
Ultimately, the bond measure request resulted from the needs identified during the external review and internal work group.
The main elements of the bond measure include:
- Replacement of aging and failing air packs necessary for fighting fires
- Replacement of radios and communications equipment that can no longer be repaired
- Replacement of aging fire apparatus
- Replacement of the Rickreall fire station
- Addition of the Salt Creek station to improve response times to accidents on Highway 22 and improving District coverage. The new coverage and improved response times can be seen on the 140 Response Time Map.
A complete list of SW Polk Fire District needs and how the bond measure solves the need can be found in the March Board Presentation.
An informational mailer will be sent out to District members towards the end of April. You can find it at Bond Tri-Fold2-min.