Consolidation of these districts seems logical and should accomplish better service and cost reductions. This particular plan does neither.
The combined district (based on historical data) would respond to approximately 1000 requests for service every year. Information we have received, indicates that this is the upper limit for one station to service (with proper mutual aid agreements in place). So a 2 station plan, considering the geographical size of the districts seems supportable.
This plan however, adds a 3rd station, requiring a new building, more equipment, and most importantly a significant addition to staff. That staffing is what prompts the need for significant new taxes. That 3rd station is in the northern part of the district, which already has adequate service, considering properly utilized mutual aid with the CJC fire district. It does nothing to improve service south of 50 highway, which has degraded significantly with the new difficulty of highway crossing.
We believe additional study is needed regarding consolidation and service improvements. Options should include; 1. Service with 2 optimally located stations; 2. Ceding the northern most parts of the districts to CJC; 3. More immediate improvements to the southern most parts of the district; and 4. Additional/future consolidations service additions (Lone Jack/Northern Pleasant Hill/Greenwood etc.).
Additionally, we believe the governance model needs to be addressed. Unincorporated areas, the original creators of Prairie Township Fire, may have no voice. A possible solution would be the establishment of board sub-districts, to insure adequate board representation. If this requires new legislation, then it should be addressed first.
For these reasons, we urge you to oppose the ballot measures associated with the current consolidation proposal.
Dr. Robert Hertzog