December 27, 2017
UPDATE ON STATUS OF THE ROCKVILLE / SPRINGDALE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
This statement has been reviewed, edited and approved by the RSFPD Board and the Washington County Commission
In September, the RSFPD Board approved a tentative 2018 budget with significant proposed increases in emergency personnel wages and staffing necessitating an approximate $500K increase in its fees if finalized in December.
In October, two members of the RSFPD Board met with the Washington County Commissioners as the first step in initiating an increase in proposed property taxes since the Commission is the entity that would advise and approve any increase in taxes, and any potential increases must be justified by a shortfall in the upcoming year’s budget. At the suggestion of the County Clerk and Recorder, the September budget draft was presented and discussed. It was agreed that the challenges of a small tax base, the distance from mutual aid, hospitals, lack of volunteer emergency personnel and the impact of tourism require intervention outside the scope of the RSFPD Board’s authority for a long term solution to sustainable operation of services.
The Washington County Commissioners offered to use their “toolbox” to research alternative financial and strategic means to help the District, and the RSFPD Board accepted their offer.
Because of the Open Meetings Act, the RSFPD did not receive input from the Commission regarding a tax increase, the District approved a tax notice to property owners indicating an increase to the maximum cap of .000705 set for the fire district. This notice created growing concern among the community as to the rising cost of emergency services.
The RSFPD Board held a public information session and its public hearings on the proposed increases and tentative 2018 budget on November 27 and 29, respectively. There were seven people in attendance at the information session, with all engaging in a discussion. There were 36 people attending the public hearing, including county commissioners and officials. Thirteen people addressed the Board.
At their meeting of December 5, the Washington County Commissioners were prepared to assume absolute governing and administrative authority of the RSFPD by resolution, citing that “no citizen spoke in favor of the increase,” and to ensure that “all options were considered prior to imposing the tax and fee increase.” However, they voted 2 to 1 to assume authority over the RSFPD budget and limit purchasing power, rather than assuming absolute authority.
In response to citizens who emailed the commissioners, Commissioner Renstrom replied via email, that the RSFPD Board has “two weeks to make a formal proposal as to how it will balance its budget moving forward. The fire board should come back with hard numbers concerning any tax increase and stand by fees increase.”
On December 12, the RSFPD Board held a meeting to discuss a deeply cut budget; however, the revision still required an annual increase of $85,000 and did not include provisions to address funding a wage increase beyond the current $13 per hour. Therefore, the revision did not qualify as a proposal, prompting the Board to pass a Resolution acknowledging that, “as a stand alone special service district, it is unable to continue providing emergency services while maintaining a budget within perceived acceptable levels, and requested that the Washington County Commission assume whatever degree of control of the District necessary for the Commissioners to provide emergency services for the District.”
At the December 19 budget hearing of the Washington County Commission, the commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the RSFPD Amended 2017 budget as the approved Final 2018 budget. This budget includes emergency personnel wages of $13/hour for six months, and maintains current 24/7 coverage of four emergency personnel in the District. The budget is $826,436 for 2018. The Commission will be working on long term solutions, such as merging or contracting with the Hurricane Valley Fire Special Service District.
The Washington County Commission has scheduled a joint meeting with the RSFPD Board at 5pm on January 18 in Springdale. It is expected that the commissioners will present proposals and discuss options concerning the future of emergency services in the area currently covered by the District. Public is welcome and encouraged to attend.
Washington County Solid Waste will be increasing their fees for garbage collection by 25 cents per month,
effective January 1, 2018, which will be reflected on your February 15th billing.
This does not affect BluCan Recycling, only garbage billing.
Get your Collection Calendar by typing your address in the box below!!!
Dumpster Schedule for 2018
February 23-25 May 18-20 August 17-19 November 16-18
ROCKVILLE SOUVENIRS ARE HERE!!
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN THE TOWN OFFICE:
- SHORT SLEEVED T-SHIRTS, MEN'S & WOMEN'S SIZES - $15.00 EACH
- LONG SLEEVED T-SHIRTS, MEN'S SIZES - $18.00 EACH
- NEW HOT DRINK MUGS, BROWN & BLUE - $6.00 EACH
- THE JOY OF ROCKVILLE COOKBOOK - $12.00 EACH
AND THE BOOK "HISTORIC ROCKVILLE" - $25.00 EACH
This is a new book about Rockville’s history and is a project completed by the Rockville Historic Preservation Commission for Rockville’s 150 Year Celebration. In 1999, the Utah Division of State History and the National Park Service provided grant funds to the Commission to make an archival photographic collection of people, places, and events important to the historical record of Rockville and surrounding communities. After the photographs were collected, some were framed and mounted and are hanging in the Rockville Community Center. The book Historic Rockville includes these pictures and explains the stories behind the photographs and Rockville’s history. The book is available at the Town of Rockville office and is also available on line at www.graftonheritage.org.