By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The tax levy for people living in the Colfax fire district — the Towns of Colfax, Grant and Otter Creek and the Village of Colfax — will remain the same for 2014 at $94,700, even though the budget will increase by $8,000.
The Colfax Fire Board met October 10 to set the budget.
Initially the tax levy was set at $102,910, but fire board members said they thought the amount for fire runs for 2014 was too low at $7,000 and increased that amount to $12,800.
Through September of this year, the Colfax Fire Department has invoiced $23,129 for fire runs, which is $16,129 more than the budgeted amount of $7,000.
In 2012, the Colfax Fire Department collected $9,671 for fire runs.
The Colfax department has responded to a couple of very big fires this year, including the Popple Creek Church fire in January and a fire at the Big Timber Sawmill in Colfax, said Don Logslett, Colfax fire chief.
The total revenue and expense budget for 2014 is $118,910.
The fire department’s equipment replacement account contains nearly $145,000.
Equalized value in the fire district has increased by about $8 million since 2012.
The Town of Colfax has increased its equalized value to $73 million, an increase of about $4 million over last year.
The Village of Colfax has an equalized value of $45 million, representing an increase of nearly $3 million since 2012.
The Town of Grant has an equalized value of $33.9 million for 2013, an increase of about $700,000 over the previous year.
The Town of Otter Creek has an equalized value of $35.9 million, an increase of about $200,000 since last year.
The Town of Colfax will pay 38.9 percent of the tax levy at $36,802.
The Village of Colfax will pay 24 percent of the tax levy at $22,797.
The Town of Grant will pay 18 percent of the tax levy at $17,046.
The Town of Otter Creek will pay 19 percent of the tax levy at $18,054.
Logslett reported that the Colfax Fire Department has gone out on 27 fire runs as of October 9.
The runs included one grass fire in the Town of Colfax; two structure fires in Otter Creek; one structure fire in Grant; three structure fires in the Town of Colfax; and two structure fires in the Village of Colfax.
The Colfax department responded to one false alarm in the Town of Colfax and one in Colfax.
The department responded to five downed power lines in the Village of Colfax and five car accidents in the Town of Colfax.
The Colfax Fire Department also filled one swimming pool in the Village of Colfax and three in the Town of Colfax.
In addition, the Colfax Fire Department provided mutual aid nine times and received mutual aid 16 times.
In other business, the Colfax Fire Board:
• Elected Scott Gunnufson, village president, as chair of the fire board. Mark Warner, Town of Otter Creek, had served as chair for two years. The fire board representatives rotate serving as the chair, Warner noted.
• Learned that Logslett has been receiving telephone calls from residents in the Town of Tainter with a Colfax address looking for a fire rating for insurance purposes. Logslett said he has told them to call Menomonie. Several years ago, the Tainter Town Board voted to switch that section of the township served by Colfax to Menomonie.
• Learned that the Colfax firefighters would like to build a 30 by 36 storage shed near the new fire station, that the firefighters will pay for the shed themselves and that the project will not cost the taxpayers any money. The shed will not be built this year, Logslett said. Fire board members said they wanted to research whether the electorate in the fire district would still have to approve the storage shed if it is not going to cost the taxpayers any money.