Paperwork mishap takes away bond issue votes for Pacific Fire District

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by Elizabeth Eisele/ KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 4 at 6:20 PM

(KMOV.com) -- The Pacific Fire District says a paperwork mishap has taken away the chance for some St. Louis County voters to decide whether they want to lower their taxes.

On Tuesday, the Pacific Fire District will ask voters to approve the $1.5 million, no tax increase bond issue that will replace a 22-year-old pumper truck, replace thermal imaging cameras, upgrade old auto rescue equipment, construct a training and storage building and replace 40 old air packs with new, longer lasting ones.

“We’ll be able to stay in these buildings longer to affect a search of a building,” said Pacific Fire Chief Rick Friedman, “rescue someone or extinguish a fire.”

The Pacific Fire District covers parts of Franklin, Jefferson and St. Louis Counties, but somehow there was a mix-up with filing the election paperwork in St. Louis County and no one caught the mistake.

“The counties will send an invoice for the cost of the election,” Friedman said, “I didn’t get that and it just slipped my mind. So it didn’t get filed.”

That mix-up means Pacific residents in a half dozen homes that sit in St. Louis County won’t be able to vote on the bond issue.

“It just seems like if they use that fire protection district, they should get to have a say,” said Pacific resident Jeanne Krupinski, “I don’t think it’s fair to them.”

The fire district has apologized.

“We hope that our taxpayers in St. Louis County understand,” Friedman said, “there was nothing done to try to not allow them to vote. It was just an error that happened.”

Friedman said state law requires that the nine votes of the residents in St. Louis County have to be counted as ‘no votes’ and the election will stand whether the bond issue passes or fails. He hopes there is enough support that they vote won’t be that close.

“All I can say,” Pacific resident Matt Krupinski said, “Is if I lived there and it was my house that was being protected, I’d certainly want to vote.” 

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