The hot topic at the City Council meeting was the Fire District.
Battalion Fire Chief Jay Ziolkowski was asked to present additional information to help council members in their decision on whether or not to continue the Fire District annexation.
Ziolkowski said the data that Chief Jensen shared last month showed trends over several years, but he wanted to share a "balance sheet, or snapshot in time" to show some of the information. The total call volume in Taylorsville last fiscal year (July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012) was approximately 3,950 incidents. Of those, 783 were covered by units outside of Taylorsville, while the units from Stations 117 and 118 went outside the City only 441 times.
He also discussed response times. Surprisingly, the response times within Taylorsville are below average and fair better than most every station inside of UFA. Note, however, that response times from outside agencies coming into Taylorsville (Murray, West Jordan and West Valley) are not included in this assessment and would obviously be longer on average.
Many people have also asked the cost of building a fire station. Ziolkowski said that the average cost to build a District station is about $3.5 million, including the property. This is below national averages, and each station is built as a 100 year building. Modification to current design (single floor layout, smaller bays) could reduce the cost, but may impact current and future service delivery capabilities.
Councilmember Burgess said other cities have invested in economic development and have funds for some of these things. "I have tried to explain this to my constituents and they are not in favor of this," he said. "When the day is over, I want to make sure our people are taken care of. When it’s your grandpa or child and they need help and it doesn’t come because of the decisions we made here, we’ve got to look at that. My whole thing is making sure I do what my constituents want. I want to understand where they are coming from and take care of their needs."
For the next blog post, I will be outlining what the residents are saying and what concerns are about this issue.