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Colfax fire department levy for 2015 is $94,700; Fire Dept. levy steady since 2012

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  — The tax levy for the Colfax Community Fire Department for the 2015 budget is $94,700 and has essentially remained unchanged since the 2012 tax levy.

The Colfax Fire Board approved the tax levy for the 2015 budget at the October 15 annual meeting.

The tax levy has been set at $94,700 for 2015, 2014, and 2013. The tax levy in 2012 was $200 more at $94,900.

The Colfax Fire Board also approved the 2015 budget of $112,700.

The 2015 budget is about $3,800 less than the 2014 budget.

The Colfax Community Fire Department serves the Village of Colfax and the Towns of Colfax, Grant and Otter Creek.

Equalized value in the municipalities for 2014 has increased by $2.86 million for a total equalized value of $191.32 million, which compares to a total equalized value of $188.49 million for 2013.

Equalized value in the Town of Colfax increased by $1.64 million for a total of $74.88 million.

Equalized value in the Village of Colfax increased by $515,400 for a total of $45.88 million.

Equalized value in the Town of Grant decreased by $86,000 for a total of $33.84 million.

Equalized value in the Town of Otter Creek increased by $788,400 for a total of $36.72 million.

The tax levy for the Town of Colfax for 2015 will be $37,064, representing a $262 increase over last year.

The tax levy for the Village of Colfax for 2015 will be $22,711, representing an $85 decrease over last year.

The tax levy for the Town of Grant will be $16,748, representing a $297 decrease over last year.

The tax levy for the Town of Otter Creek will be $18,174, representing a $120 increase over last year.

The Town of Colfax will pay 39.1 percent of the tax levy because the township has 39.1 percent of the equalized value in the fire district. The 2015 percentage compares to 38.9 percent for 2014.

The Village of Colfax will pay 24 percent of the tax levy because the village has 24 percent of the equalized value in the fire district. The 2015 percentage compares to 24.1 percent for 2014

The Town of Grant will pay 17.7 percent of the tax levy, compared to 18 percent for 2014.

The Town of Otter Creek will pay 19.2 percent of the tax levy, compared to 19.1 percent for 2014.

Fire runs

Colfax Fire Chief Don Logslett reported that so far in 2014, the Colfax Fire Department has gone out on 25 fire runs, compared to a total of 27 runs for 2013.

This year, the fire department has gone on two grass fires, one in the village and one in the Town of Colfax, compared to one grass fire in 2013.

So far in 2014, the fire department has gone out on five structure fires, four in the village and one in the Town of Colfax, compared to eight structure fires in 2013.

So far this year, the fire department has gone out on five false alarms, four in the village and one in the Town of Colfax, compared to two false alarms in 2013.

Car accidents for this year so far stand at eight, one in the Town of Colfax, three in Otter Creek, and four landing zones in the village, compared to seven car accidents in 2013.

For 2013 and 2014, the Colfax Fire Department did not respond to any calls regarding missing persons.

The fire department filled four swimming pools in 2014, two in the village, one in the Town of Colfax and one in the Town of Otter Creek.

The fire department filled four swimming pools in 2013 as well.

Mutual aid

So far in 2014, the Colfax Fire Department has received mutual aid four times and has provided mutual aid to other fire departments 13 times, Logslett reported.

In 2013, the Colfax Fire Department received mutual aid 16 times and provided mutual aid nine times.

The amount of mutual aid given and received fluctuates from year to year, depending on the types of fires or other incidents for which the fire department is called out, Logslett noted.

The Colfax Fire Department averages nine firefighters who show up to go out on a call, he said.

Other departments in the area, such as Elk Mound and Sand Creek, have far fewer volunteers available to go out, Logslett said.

When volunteers are not available to go out on a run, the fire department will implement the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) to mobilize equipment and manpower from other departments, he said.

So far this year, Colfax has provided mutual aid to Boyceville three times; to Menomonie four times; to Elk Mound four times; and to Sand Creek two times, according to Logslett’s report.

The Colfax Fire Department has 33 firefighters on the roster, he said.

Service hours

So far in 2014, the Colfax Fire Department has logged 914 service hours, including 232 fire hours; 52 EMS hours; 228 mutual aid hours; 159 training hours; 195 meeting hours; 48 special duty hours.

In 2013, the fire department had 2,353 service hours, including 1,147 fire hours; 75 EMS hours; 347 mutual aid hours; 562 training hours; 180 meeting hours; and 42 special duty hours.

In 2012, the Colfax Fire Department logged a total of 1,471 service hours.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Fire Board:

• Appointed Dean Logslett as the assistant fire chief.

• Authorized Don Logslett to advertise for bids to sell the Colfax Fire Department’s 1974 pumper truck on the Wisconsin Surplus website with a deadline for bids of November 10.

• Learned that the Colfax Fire Department’s vehicle equipment replacement fund had a balance of $144,503 at the end of 2013. Another $20,000 will be added to the fund at the end of this year for a total of $164,753.