By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – Voters approved a fire protection and advanced life support special assessment proposal Nov. 3, with 75 percent of voters in favor of the measure, 4,609 to 1,509.
The proposal will fund the hiring of eight full-time firefighters and paramedics for a 10-year period.
It takes effect July 1, 2021, and runs through June 30, 2031, when it expires.
Other than the fire chief, the fire department is currently staffed with part-time employees, which has led to staffing challenges in the past.
In addition, Riverview has relied, in part, on outside contractors to provide paramedics to staff advanced life support services.
The proposal will levy an annual special assessment of up to 1.47 mills, or $1.47 per $1,000 of taxable value, on all real property in the city not exempt from taxation, for 10 years, beginning with the 2021-22 through the 2030-31 fiscal years.
City Manager Doug Drysdale said residents will not see a net increase in taxes with the special assessment proposal, as it replaces a soon-to-expire sewage debt millage.
“Protecting Riverview citizens is our first priority,” he said. “With a large population of senior citizens, full-time first responders are essential.”
Drysdale said the funding also will allow the city to purchase newer, more advanced life-support equipment.