Joplin voters head to the polls on Tuesday with public safety front and center.
“Public Safety Proposal” will ask residents to approve a property tax that will levy a tax of $1.00 for every $100 of assessed value on all real and personal property.
These revenues will be used to improve funding for police and fire services in Joplin.
Click here or take a look at this graphic posted by Joplin Professional Fire Fighters below:
According to the city, since 2012, the Joplin Fire Department has lost a total of 73 firefighters to other fire departments and private sector jobs, with 27 additional retirements, for a loss total of 100 firefighters.
The city says careers in the fire service are not as attractive as opportunities in the private sector.
The City will need to add additional firefighters, new stations and new fire trucks to reduce response times, maintain ISO rating, meet NFPA standards and provide the infrastructure that enables economic development.
The cost of training, benefits and equipment per firefighter in his first year is $78,000.
City officials say the key to attracting and retaining public safety personnel is competitive pay and positive working conditions.
Currently, the starting salary for a police officer and a firefighter is around $37,000 and $34,000 respectively.
In an FAQ, the City of Joplin answered several questions including How do we know the City won’t come back asking for more money for public safety?
Their response is that this plan is long-term and has brought together several representatives from the police and fire departments, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 27, and the Joplin Professional Fire Department Local 59 to meet with administration. to address concerns and develop a long-term solution.
The City and the two unions reached an agreement and each organization signed a contract as a way of resolving the problems facing the services.
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