Service fees (September 1, 2016)

The Apple Valley Fire District last year received $2.3 million in funds from the special assessment tax, an amount it says is not enough to continue operations, or even to keep all our fire stations open.

What if instead of a special assessment tax, there was a $435 fee for the lowest level traffic accident? When multiplied by the 11,000 calls we were told were made last year, revenue would have amounted to almost $4.8 million. With more than twice as much revenue the AVFD would have more than enough to provide quality service, and reopen our two closed stations.

To look at it another way, when each property owner pays $126 or more per year, over 20 years that adds up to more than $2,520, which is enough to pay for 5.8 traffic accidents. Unless you are incurring an accident once every five years or less, service fees are a bargain.

We have now gone six years with two fire stations closed, which impacts community public safety. Where has the Town of Apple Valley been all this time, certainly not trying to reopen fire stations, even though one Town Council member was formerly fire chief in Apple Valley? How is it that the TOAV, which seems so intent on expanding its scope of operations, did not look at taking over the Fire District?

Instead, TOAV focused on providing animal services at the expense of an existing private facility, buying a golf course, buying the Hilltop House, seizing land for a bike path, and being an electric provider. Simultaneously, TOAV has spent millions in its efforts to seize our water company — an action that will incur the largest debt this town has ever seen. Why does the Town find it more important to coddle a minority of water users so they can continue wasting hundreds of thousands of gallons of our most precious life sustaining resource

Not to disparage past good works/deeds of those supporting the TOAV water company take over, but one must ask what are their motivations? Do they feel obliged to support the town? Mr. Piercy must be grateful to the Town that floated $6 million in bonds for the school facility improvements. Messers Bill McDaniel and Pat Orr, the two officers of the Apple Valley Christian Care Center, must appreciate that the Town issued $7+ million in Certificates of Participation to build the $3 million facility, and a year later, issued $9+ million in Certificates of Participation. And that is only part of their special interest benefit.

When will public safety for the common citizen’s best interest become a special interest worthy of equal attention of elected officials?

Leane Lee, Apple Valley

Published: Daily Press