Columbus fire chief asks town council for tax increase

Published 11:26 am Friday, May 17, 2024

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1.5% tax raise would fund upgrades for Columbus Fire Department equipment, vehicles


COLUMBUS—Columbus Fire Chief Bobby Arledge addressed the Columbus Town Council at its regular meeting on Thursday, May 16, regarding a potential 1.5% tax increase.

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The increase would assist in funding the Columbus Fire Department and go toward much-needed equipment and upgrades.

Arledge explained that some of the fire department’s equipment is out of date and needs to be replaced, including SCBAs (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatuses). The SCBAs cost roughly ten thousand dollars each, and Arledge plans on replacing five of his current stock of approximately 30.

In addition, Arledge stated that the Columbus Fire Department has had to replace two of its fire engines so far and that it was expecting two new fire engines soon, as the 75-foot ladder truck it currently has won’t reach the top floors of the new Jasmine Apartment complex.

“We’re actually going to be selling our current ladder truck. Now it’s on the market, we’re selling another one to try to offset some of the costs,” Arledge told the Council.

Arledge also hopes to give employees a 50-cent to one-dollar per hour pay raise.

If passed, the tax increase would go into effect July 1 for residents in Columbus city limits.