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Dear Editor:
As a Sylvan Township Trustee, I’ve had the privileged to be a CAFA Board member for the last 5 years.

I have been most impressed with the quality of the CAFA employees and the Board Members that have served.

I am one dissenting vote of the Board, I do not support the millage increase. If the 2.4 millage is approved, the extra funds will be used to increase firefighting staffing levels from the current 9 to 12. I do not have any data that supports a need for increasing the staffing levels.

If the 2.4 millage is not approved, CAFA will have opportunities to renew/increase the 1.8 mills in 2018. As our communities continue to grow, the taxable value will also increase. This in turn, will generate additional revenue that CAFA can use for additional employees or replacement of equipment.

Furthermore, I believe that 1.8 mills could be a bench mark for all to strive towards. Another option is to create two separate millages, one for capital and one for operations. This assures taxpayers that funds are being used as efficiently as possible.

Thank you
Kurt Koseck

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2 Responses to “Letter to the Editor: Chelsea Area Fire Authority Board Member voting no on millage”

  1. Bill Regnier says:

    On behalf of the Chelsea Fire Fighters Local 1889 members, I would like to address some points here.

    You say that the extra funding from this millage would be used for extra staff that you see no evidence of a need for. Just yesterday, CAFA was dispatched to two separate incidents with one being a rollover with entrapment and could not respond to the second one due to limited staffing and Dexter Fire responded alone. That’s just one of many examples. The idea of paid on call staffing is a great thought, but we’ve been trying to add them with very limited interest and difficulty retaining them. How long do we try to rely on a solution that just isn’t there? This is a nationwide problem, not just a local one.

    I believe your board and the Fire Chief have expressed rather clearly that the funds are also to be used toward necessary equipment replacement costs being faced. You failed to mention that need. For example, we just lost a 1999 Engine permanently due to a cracked frame, leaving a 1994 Engine to be the front line response vehicle at that station. This truck is going on 24 years old and should absolutely be replaced, but the funds haven’t been available due to CAFA operating over budget for several years. Furthermore, at least one apparatus is out of service at most times for repairs or preventative maintenance, leaving a rather limited fleet available.

    It seems that additional funding is not just preferred, but is essential to deliver the level of service the community deserves.

    Bill Regnier – Secretary
    Chelsea Fire Fighters, Local 1889

  2. Lisa Allmendinger says:

    From Tom Osborne, a CAFA Board Member.
    I read Mr Koseck’s letter to the editor and feel compelled to reply.

    CAFA has been living off the rainy day fund for many years. Running a deficit budget that has reduced it from approximately $1,000,000 to just over $300,000. This living beyond our means has put CAFA in a bad situation where only reduced staffing has allowed a balanced budget the past two years and that was by a narrow margarin. Also he stated we could have two millages. That makes no sense. CAFA and others have stated how the money will be spent from the one millage request. Why confuse the voters with two millages. Also the CPA firm that audits the CAFA books has stated the reserve fund is too low and our resource arraignment is not sustainable. CAFA is going broke. To add to this situation CAFA was forced to retire a pumper due to frame cracks and age and there is no money to replace it. If a pumper is busy or down for replacement it leaves only one to respond. The people of the area rely on basic emergency response when they call 911. I for one am willing to pay a few dollars a year to insure it. It is like insurance, no responsible person is without it

    Tom Osborne