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'Real and present need' | Voters approve Verdigris Fire District bond

Verdigris Fire Chief Mike Shaffer
Posted at 9:10 PM, Jun 19, 2024

VERDIGRIS, Okla. — Voters in the Verdigris Fire District passed a bond allowing the district to purchase two new fire engines.

The fire district is not directly tied to the town of Verdigris. Instead, the chief answers to an independently elected board. The district's funding is similar to that of a school district. It is based on property taxes rather than sales taxes.

“We had a real and present need for this equipment to be replaced,” Chief Mike Shaffer said.

In October 2023, voters soundly rejected a much larger bond for the district. It included all of their needs and had a big price tag.

“Voters [wanted to] to make a decision on a line-by-line basis,” Shaffer said, “They wanted to make decisions one step at a time.”
This time around, they narrowed it down to around $3.6 million dollars for two new fire engines. Voters approved the bond.

One truck, manufactured in 1990, is still in use as a backup. The department plans to replace it with a newer one. However, the chief is telling citizens to expect a wait for the new trucks.

“This will be a years-long process. Even if we put the order in today, it’s going to be two years before we see those trucks, at a minimum,” Shaffer said.

Shaffer says the department plans to donate the older trucks to a smaller department.

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