Lake St. Louis firefighters say tax increase may be needed to bu - KMOV.com

Lake St. Louis firefighters say tax increase may be needed to buy needed equipment

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV
LAKE ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

The Lake St. Louis Fire Chief says a tax increase may be necessary to get firefighters and first responders the equipment needed to do their jobs.

Lake St. Louis Fire Chief Clinton Gussner said the department’s trucks are 18-years-old and not adequate. Gussner also said budget problems are preventing needed equipment upgrades.

“We need to provide the level of service they require of us and we’re not able to do that at this time,” said Gussner.

Gussner told News 4 the department is looking at all options to solve the problem including a tax increase, bond use, or a merger. Firefighters believe a merger is unpopular, so officials are doing some number crunching to see how much of a tax increase they would need to request.

In 2015, fire officials said they thought about asking for a property tax increase of $15-20 a month.

Many Lake St. Louis residents said they are willing to pay a little more in taxes if it means better equipment.

Gussner said he would like to see a tax proposal on the August ballot, which would mean a decision on the exact proposal must be made by May.

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