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  • Supervisors OK $75K for Mt. Lemmon Fire District

    Apr 05, 2017 | Read More News
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    rec centerThe Pima County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 April 4 to approve paying $75,000 over five years to Mt. Lemmon Fire District to contribute to the cost of providing fire protection and emergency services to county properties and personnel in the district. The county will pay $15,000 a year over the term of the agreement. The funds also will help the district with the cost of providing fire protection and emergency services to the 1.5 million visitors who recreate within the National Forest each year. 

    As a government, Pima County doesn’t pay property taxes on county-owned properties to a special taxing district like MLFD, yet the county still receives services from the district. This is difficult financially for the district, which is primarily funded with a property tax but has a limited tax base consisting mostly of residential and commercial properties in Summerhaven. 

    Additionally, the district responds to fires and emergency calls in the National Forest. More than 90 percent of emergency calls the district responds to each year are for nonresidents of the district. 

    In December, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wrote to the board asking for the funding, writing, “I believe it is very important the MLFD and the provision of fire and emergency services become a sustainable operation. There are 1.5 million nonresident visitors who recreate in the Mount Lemmon/Summerhaven area each year but who do not contribute for the fire and emergency services received.”

    Huckelberry will be meeting with Coronado National Forest officials and others to discuss a regional solution to funding emergency services on Mt. Lemmon and the residential, recreational and commercial areas of the National Forest. 

    Board Chair Sharon Bronson was out of town and unable to participate in the meeting. 

    Return to Pima County FYI