Voters approve new Central Jackson County Fire Protection District station

By Mike Genet mike.genet@examiner.net
The Examiner

The Central Jackson County Fire Protection District will be adding a fire station.

Voters in the fire district, which covers most of Blue Springs and Grain Valley and surrounding unincorporated areas and all of Lake Tapawingo, heartily approved $10 million in bonds to build and equip an additional fire station north of Interstate 70, as well as a 30-cent levy increase to pay for 24 firefighters to staff the station.

Voters approved the bonds at nearly 81 percent – 4,130 yes votes to 971 no’s – and approved the levy increase at 68.1 percent – 3,470 yes votes against 1,625.

The CJC district hasn’t raised its tax levy in nearly 20 years, Chief Jeff Grote said last month, and based on prior voter requests to issue bonds, along with the district’s accreditation and highest insurance rating, he said the district has strong citizen support.

More:Independence School District's requested upgrades approved

“I’ll put our organization against the whole region,” the chief said, “and I believe people know that.” 

Central Jackson County Fire Protection District firefighters tackle a fire in February.

Grote said a recent demographic study showed the district’s population would increase about 27 percent over the next eight years. Right now, just one of the district’s five stations is north of I-70 – the station on Jefferson Street just west of Adams Dairy Parkway.

More:Blue Springs voters approve sales tax, plans for aquatic center, new parks in place

The new station will be at the corner of Duncan and Dillingham roads, just inside Grain Valley, across from Prairie Branch Elementary School.

“The biggest need right now is north of I-70 and closer to Grain Valley,” Grote said. “We make a habit of not going to the public for frivolous projects. This is not a feel-good issue; it’s for public safety. If we have a segment of the district that takes three minutes longer to get to, it’s a public safety issue, to have another station in an area that’s exploded in growth.”

While the bond issue will not increase taxes, the levy is for an additional $0.30 per $100 of assessed valuation. For a home worth $110,000 in Jackson County, with an assessed valuation of $20,900, that’s an extra $62.70 per year, or $5.23 per month.