The votes are in, and Affton residents came out to strongly support the Affton Fire Protection District’s Proposition A, a 26 cent property tax increase to pay for adding a second ambulance to the district.
“It was a pretty big win,” said Affton Fire Captain Ben Waser, who helped organize the Yes on A campaign.
Prop A passed with 2,433 ‘yes’ votes, about 62 percent of the total. Waser said Tuesday evening that voters he met at the polls were very positive about the tax increase.
“The huge majority of people said ‘Yup, there’s a need, we support you,’” Waser said. “They were outwardly saying ‘we are 100 percent behind you.’”
The tax increase will bring in $1.27 million in revenue, which Chief Jim Fritz said would be used to add an additional ambulance to Affton Fire's fleet and hire six new staff to man it. The district’s community-based strategic planning committee decided that a second ambulance was necessary to handle the growing number of EMS calls in the district. Fritz told Patch the current ambulance was already running above capacity and would be overtaxed further as new senior living centers open in the area.
“We are ready to move on and look at how we are going to make this ambulance a reality,” Waser said.
Firefighters and Prop A supporters gathered to watch results and celebrate at Café Affton Tuesday evening. Waser said the crowd was very excited about the win.
“The biggest thing is, everyone is so exhausted. Most of us were at polls for 13 hours today,” Waser said. “The greatest thing about all of it was that so many of these elections end up bitter and angry. Even the opposition was so cordial today, just saying they didn’t think it was the right time or they couldn’t afford it right now…That’s what’s so great about the Affton community.”