Basalt fire district tax passes | AspenTimes.com

Basalt fire district tax passes

The Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District received voter approval by the narrowest of margins for a property tax increase last night.

The tax hike was approved by a vote of 145-143, according to district officials. Election judges counted the ballots three times to check the accuracy of the tally.

The vote enables the district to increase the mill levy from 3.255 to 4.950 mills. That will raise about $1.7 million annually in additional revenues for the operating budget.

The increase will raise funds for extra emergency medical response, an assistant fire marshal and savings for the replacement of equipment, according to Fire Chief Scott Thompson.

He said he was concerned by the close vote and needed to contemplate the reason that many voters opposed the measure.

District voters also chose three members of the fire district’s board of directors. Two incumbents were returned to office while one was unseated.

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In the races for four-year terms, incumbent Jim Stryker received 184 votes while incumbent Ed Van Walraven received 164 votes to return to office. Challenger Barb Forrest received 130 votes.

In the race for a two-year seat, challenger Robert Woods gathered 134 votes to 129 for incumbent Hunter Lovins.