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Proposed tax increase would pay for Osage Beach fire equipment and station


Camden and Miller Counties will vote on Tuesday, November 2nd, on a proposed tax that would pay for new fire equipment and a new fire station.

The property tax increase will cost residents 30 cents for every 100 dollars of property value. That would cost property owners $114 a year on a $200,000 home.

A second bond issue would raise property taxes by 14 cents for every $100 value.

Osage beach fire has not had to ask for a bond issue in over 25 years, and the fire chief said as population continues to grow there are steps that they need to take to improve the stations current and future needs.

Paul Berardi, Osage Beach Fire Protection Chief said over the last year the Osage Beach Fire Protection District has seen a 10% increase in its emergency response call load.

Berardi said the growth in population has heightened the needs of the station.

"Our average response time is about eight minutes and fifty six seconds, our goal is to hit five minutes and thirty five seconds," Berardi said.

Part of the property taxes raised from bonds will go to relocating fire station number 1 onto Osage Beach Parkway, in order to improve response time.

 "We want to move onto the parkway as you noticed when you came here today you came about a mile off the parkway and not only are we a mile off the parkway we are at a location where we can only go one way," Berardi said.

About 90% of the stations calls are medical calls.

Currently the station is staffed with an EMT that allows them to provide basic emergency care.

The tax levy increase would go to a new advanced life support EMS services.

The distract also wants to hire more people.

"We're hiring fourteen new employees, nine paramedics, three EMT's all firefighter EMT's and paramedics a EMS chief paramedic," Berardi said.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.


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