Support 911 tax increase during August 2 primary

    If you want good service, especially in government, then you must be willing to pay for it. On the federal level we often ask for the best, our military is a great example, but we refuse to pay what’s required to properly fund it. That shouldn’t be the case for our local emergency responders.

    Voters in Crawford County will be heading to the polls on August 2 to decide how good they would like their 911 service to be. They should vote for great service, for their own safety and health and that of their neighbors.
    The 911 Proposition that will appear on the ballot reads as follows: Shall the County of Crawford, on behalf of the Crawford County 911 Emergency Services Board, impose an increase in county emergency services sales tax from three-eighths of one percent (0.375%) to three-fourths of one percent (0.75%) for the purpose of providing central dispatching of fire protection, emergency ambulance service, including emergency telephone services, and other emergency services, as well as paying for communications tower repairs, staffing and equipping the central dispatch center, and annual licensing and insurance requirements of the Federal Communications Commission? Collection of said monies will not begin until April 2023. (Sec. 190.335, RSMo.)
    It deserves a yes vote!
    Crawford County E911 not only provides dispatching services for all first responders in the county but also takes care of a variety of other related needs. The 911 center is funded through a dedicated sales tax as it is a separate entity and does not receive regular funding from any other emergency service agency or from the county. The proposal on the August Primary Election ballot asks voters to approve an increase to the sales tax rate in order to provide the best possible services to local residents and visitors alike.
    Why is it needed now? To keep a high quality of service, primarily through attracting and keeping quality employees. Far too often our local 911 service has been just a steppingstone for dispatchers to get trained and then get paid, somewhere else. Crawford County 911 must be able to pay their employees a competitive wage if it is to maintain a quality service to the community.
    And taxpayers must be willing to pay for it. Don’t just sit home on August 2. Get out and vote and vote yes on the 911 Proposition.

Fairgrounds need some
security improvements
    By all accounts last week’s Crawford County Fair was a resounding success, unless you are talking to one of the 4-H or FFA kids who had a steer in the cattle barn. Twice they had to quickly remove their animals due to small electrical fires.
    While it’s clear that major electrical work is going to have to be done in the barn before next year’s fair, more than that is needed to ensure a similar situation doesn’t arise in the future. First and foremost, that barn and all the buildings at Hood Park need to be made secure.
    The fires were likely caused due to vandalism. Someone stole wiring out of the barn and also at the Main Stage. Better security probably would have prevented both issues.
    Years ago the cattle barn was opened up to provide better ventilation for the animals. That was badly needed but now the barn is wide open for anyone to enter at any time. Some type of system—bars on the openings or some type of removable barrier—must be put in place to prevent future vandalism. Better lighting and security cameras are also a must.