Bluffdale could increase taxes to fund fire department

Nov 13, 2023, 6:00 PM

Bluffdale could increase taxes to fund fire department...

A sign at Bluffdale City Hall in Bluffdale on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, encourages people to vote. A battle in Bluffdale is brewing over taxes to change the fire department from part-time to full-time. Residents will vote on Nov. 21. Photo credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

BLUFFDALE, Utah — Tensions are rising in Bluffdale over taxes to change the Bluffdale Fire Department from part-time to full-time.

The city is calling it Proposition 13. The ballot initiative would increase taxes and the money would be used to take its fire department to full-time.

City Councilman Dave Kallas expressed that Bluffdale’s population has quadrupled in 20 years.

“Bluffdale is one of the few remaining part-time departments perhaps the only one … in Salt Lake County at least,” he said. “It was created when we went from a volunteer fire department in 2001 to a part-time department. None of the guys work for Bluffdale they just fill in shifts.”

Bluffdale Fire Chief Matt Evans said the extra funding would help the department bring in six full-timers to its station. Right now, the department is only being covered by full-timers from neighboring cities who are only there about 40% of the time.

“In the morning a lot of them are either coming from work or leaving to work to go to their full-time jobs,” Evans said. “There’s a period of time, maybe an hour in the morning, that we have no coverage in the city.”

Voters will have the chance to vote yes or no on Nov. 21.

Further reading: Get to know the Ogden Mayoral candidates

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Bluffdale could increase taxes to fund fire department