Residents split over sales tax for new fire station in Campbell, MO

Residents split over sales tax for new fire station in Campbell, MO
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)

CAMPBELL, MO (KFVS) - The City of Campbell, Missouri is proposing a quarter-cent sales tax on the upcoming election in August.

It will be for improvements to the existing Campbell Fire Station; plus, build a new fire station which will house Emergency Management Services.

However, residents we talked to seem to be split on which way they will vote.

People for the tax say they need a new fire station. They say the current one needs to be upgraded. They say it is old and is worth paying a quarter of a cent more.

"I think it's very important," Sinda Holloway of Campbell said. "We've got a really good fire department right now. They've had a lot of training and stuff and I think it will be better for them."

People against the sales tax increase say they feel the old fire station and Emergency Management Services are working out fairly well right now.

Although some people against voting for the tax say they still need a new fire station, they say they don't think paying the sales tax is worth it.

"It could help us, it could not help us," Tina Loid of Campbell said. "Everybody here, they're volunteer fire department, so they're all here in town anyways."

Some people we talked to say there are other ways to come up with the money for the new fire station hub, such as getting more gr ants or raising money through fundraisers.

Many here, both for the sales tax and against the sales tax, feel they have been taxed too much lately. Not too long ago, voters passed a one-cent sales tax for road improvements and feel this quarter-cent increase is too much to ask for right now.

"I work for my money and paying taxes, I can't afford buying other things," Loid said.

"It is just a quarter of a cent, so it's not like it's going to hurt anything," Holloway said.

City of Campbell Mayor Raymond Gunter said the new fire station building will add to the list of great investments of what they have made to the city that affects the community and surrounding area, which includes upgrades on the schools and downtown development.

Gunter said he thinks the people will pass this because they have been very supportive and even passed the last sales tax with 78 percent in November 2015.

The site is already picked out for the new fire station on Grand Ave.

According to the city, the new fire station is an essential component of their improvement plans and the quarter of a cent sales tax initiative will ensure that the city is able to construct the new fire station, as well as pay for future apparatus equipment they say is much needed for the area.

The city currently has a 5 ISO rating. They feel they are close to having a 4 ISO rating but have to make more improvements for that. They feel a 4 ISO rating will ensure a decrease in insurance rates and save homeowners an estimated five percent on their annual insurance premiums.

On Thursday, July 21, at 7 p.m., there will be a public hearing to give citizens of Campbell the opportunity to review blueprints for the new fire station and ask questions.

This will be held at the Grand and Locust building, formally known as the Jim Morris Civic Center.

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