Skip to main content

Fire Protection and Facilities Improvement Bond Measure

Keyes Volunteer Fire Protection District Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why does the District need a bond measure?

The Keyes Fire Station is 60 years old and simply inadequate to serve the growing and modern public safety needs of the Keyes community. The District is planning to construct a new fire station to better serve the community. In order to fund the new fire station, the Board of Directors is considering placing a $7 million Emergency Response, Fire Protection and Facilities Improvement Bond Measure on the November 2024 ballot. If approved, this measure would provide locally controlled funding for a new fire station that cannot be taken away by the State.

 

Why is the existing fire station considered “inadequate”?

The current fire station does not have apparatus bays that are large enough to fit a modern fire apparatus. The District is limited in the size of apparatus we can buy, which limits our ability to provide service to the community. There is no space for the storage or cleaning of personal protection gear (fire turnouts, boots, gloves, etc.) necessary to keep our firefighters safe.

 

The station does not have any sleeping quarters. It was built for the traditional volunteer fire department where firefighters would only respond to the fire station when a call for service came in. Today, our firefighters work a modern schedule with shifts of 12, 24, or 48 hours. The firefighters are having to use makeshift dorm sleeping quarters within the dayroom, which is shared between males and females.

 

The current electrical system at the station is unable to accept any modifications for modern equipment, such as station lighting, power outlets, computers, and appliances. The plumbing system is also outdated. Additionally, the station does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. Due to the station design and materials, as well as the condition of the existing systems, a simple modernization or retrofit is not feasible. A new station is needed to meet the needs of a modern fire department.

 

How would funding from a local fire protection and facilities improvement measure be used?

Funding from a potential measure would be used to construct a new fire station that would house necessary fire apparatus, provide space for firefighter training, as well as other necessary spaces to support fire and emergency medical services in our community.

 

How much would the bond cost?

The annual cost of the measure is estimated to be $29 per $100,000 of assessed (not market) value per year. The assessed value is determined by the Stanislaus County Assessor and is often much closer to the original purchase price of the home than to the current market value. The average property owner in the District would pay about $10 per month.

 

What is the difference between assessed value and market value?

The cost of bond measures is based on the assessed value of properties. The assessed value of a property is based on the original purchase price and may not increase by more than 2% a year, while the market value tends to grow at a much faster rate based on market conditions. Thus, the assessed value is usually much lower than the market value, especially if a property was purchased long ago at a much lower price than it could be purchased for today. It is this lower assessed value upon which the cost of a bond measure is based.

 

What protections help ensure the funds are spent responsibly?

Any potential fire facilities improvement bond measure would include strict fiscal accountability requirements, including:

●     All funds would be controlled locally and could not be taken away by the State

●     Independent citizens’ oversight and annual audits would ensure all funds are used for voter-approved projects

●     None of the money raised could be used for administrative salaries or pensions

 

Would the funding stay local for Keyes Fire District?

Yes. All funds raised by a potential fire facilities improvement bond must be spent locally to construct a new Keyes fire station only. No funds could be taken away by the State.
 

When will I be able to vote on the measure?                                                                                    

While no final decision has been made, the District is considering placing the bond on the November 5, 2024 ballot. All registered voters living in the District will be able to vote on the potential bond.

 

What level of support would the bond need to pass?

The bond would need to be supported by 2/3 of those who vote on it to pass.

 

How can I learn more?

Keyes Volunteer Fire District knows that fire protection and emergency response is a community wide concern. Please send us any further questions you may have by completing the form below.

There was a problem saving your submission. Please try again later.
Please wait while your submission is being saved...
Thank you, your submission has been received.