DAYTON - Fire district officials say a minimum 12-cent tax increase may be necessary.
Central Lyon County Fire District Board member Richard Forant said it would take twice the suggested 6-cent tax increase to meet the district's growing demands for emergency service protection.
"To bring on just a couple of people will not fix our needs, so we need to look at an optimum goal," Forant said. "To me that optimum goal is a bare minimum of four additional paid employees."
The additional personnel would allow 24-hour-a-day coverage by two paramedic/firefighters and a firefighter/EMT at both ends of the district. Forant said to reach that point would probably take double the amount first mentioned.
"We need all the input we can get to know exactly what we need to reach that goal," he said.
According to County Comptroller Rita Evasovic, each penny taxed adds $28,309 to fire district coffers.
Supporting the long-range point of view, Board Chairwoman Sue Lawson said, "I don't want to fix this for two years, I want to look perhaps as far as 10 years."
She also stressed that information regarding the tax proposal and district needs needed to be uniform throughout the widespread district.
The Central Lyon County Fire District ranges from Silver City and Mound House east to Silver Springs and includes seven volunteer manned fire stations and the new Sutro Station, housing district offices and paid emergency personnel and equipment.
The board encourages the public to attend a special informational meeting Saturday April 29 at the Sutro Fire Station at 10 a.m.
District Chief Bill Driscoll said, "We are working to gather as much data as possible. So far, I have met with the Silver Springs, Mound House and Dayton advisory boards and I encourage everyone to attend the April 29 meeting."
Discussing the possibility of recreating the district into a 318 Special Assessment District to make bonding options available, the board agreed to remain as a 474 Assessment District and pursue the tax initiative route. According to Nevada law, 474 districts do not have bonding capacity.
If a tax initiative is proposed, it must go to a public vote. To appear on the September primary ballot, the facts of the initiative must be submitted to the county clerk by May 5.
The final date to submit necessary paperwork for the November general election is July 17.