Voters OK funding fire services

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— Voters in the Oak Creek Fire Protection District Tuesday gave a nod to raising their property taxes to fund improved fire and emergency services within the district.

The fire district proposed to raise the mill levy from 4.392 to 9.9382 and put the additional revenue toward construction of a new firehouse in Stagecoach, new fire and EMS equipment and training and emergency vehicles.

The ballot question was approved by a 261-to-188 margin.

The high turnout surprised District Fire Chief Chuck Wisecup.

"That blew my mind," he said.

Of the 449 people who cast their votes, 100 people are Stagecoach residents, 139 voted by absentee ballot and 212 live in and around Oak Creek.

Wisecup said the tax increase would not go into effect until 2003 and taxes would be based on properties' assessed value in 2002.

For a house with a market value of $250,000 and an assessed value of $25,000, the fire tax under the new levy will increase from $110 to $248.

Supporters of a mill levy increase said the extra revenue was necessary to meet the demands of protecting new development and an increasing population in the district.

Voters also returned a veteran member of the Oak Creek Fire Protection Board of Directors to his seat and elected a new face.

Four candidates ran for two four-year terms on the board.

Gerry Greenwood, who currently serves as the board's president, won by the widest margin with 256 votes.

Bernard Knott, a rancher near Trout Creek, captured the other open seat with 184 votes.

Chris Zuschlag received 182 votes, and Greg Hermann received 124 votes.

The Morrison Creek Metropolitan Water and Sanitation District held an election for its five-member board.

Four candidates ran for two four-year term seats. Two candidates ran for one two-year term.

Kenneth J. DePaul won with 154 votes, followed by Jonathan Spiegel with 151 votes.

John Wittemyer and Chris Zuschlag received 111 votes and 103 votes, respectively.

Paul Fuller captured the two-year seat with 147 votes, defeating Margaret O'Donnell, who earned 112 votes.

The election drew 280 people from the water district.

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