TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Mon, April 06

Commentary: Bond discussion key to fulfilling mission of Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District

Copper Canyon Fire Chief Terry Keller would like the district’s voters to consider approving a bond that would help the fire district build at least one additional fire station. VVN/Bill Helm

Copper Canyon Fire Chief Terry Keller would like the district’s voters to consider approving a bond that would help the fire district build at least one additional fire station. VVN/Bill Helm

The Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District provides fire suppression, emergency medical service, rescue, hazardous materials response, and fire prevention services to the communities of Camp Verde, McGuireville, Rimrock, and Lake Montezuma.

The District responds to more than 3,500 calls a year for service and currently has stations located on Main Street in Camp Verde and on Beaver Creek Road in Rimrock. There are also plans underway for a new station on the State Route 260 corridor near Cherry Creek Road.

During the great recession, property values in both the Montezuma Rimrock Fire District and Camp Verde Fire District fell significantly – leaving both with substantial budget challenges.

To reduce costs, improve service delivery, and enhance operational safety, the districts joined together and combined their resources to form a new joint powers authority, operating as the Copper Canyon Fire and Medical Authority in 2016, and eventually merged into the Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District at the start of 2019.

As members of the Governing Board, our goal has been to ensure that CCFMD remains committed to fiscal responsibility and excellent stewardship of your taxpayer dollars. We have made great steps to reduce redundancies, cut costs, and standardize procedures.

At the same time, we are aware that our response times are prolonged to certain portions of our now combined district.

To address these issues, we think it is prudent to thoughtfully engage in a bond discussion and decide if it is an issue we would like to place before the voters.

As such, we have launched a Bond Advisory Committee effort to work with district staff, members of the community, public safety professionals, and bond and finance experts to explore the needs of the district and potential costs to the taxpayers.

They will explore opportunities and proposed station locations that would allow our first responders to respond to calls faster and reduce cross district trips.

Responding quickly is critically important in the health and safety of an individual as well as minimizing property damage or loss.

The safety of our residents and firefighters is our number one priority and we want to ensure that we can safely help people when they need us most.

We are committed to engaging the citizens in an open process to understand their needs and how we can address them. We encourage everyone to engage in this process and provide feedback.

We will be posting the presentations and more details on our Bond Advisory Committee on our website at ccfmd.az.gov.

We want citizens to understand the process and ask any questions. If you have questions, we encourage you to call 928-567-9401 or email any questions to info@ccfmd.az.gov.

Quality fire and emergency services help protect your property values and play a key part in the community’s ability to continue to attract residents and businesses.

We want to consider all of our financial options to ensure that we are using the taxpayers’ money as effectively as possible while protecting your quality of life.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve our community.

Terry Keller is fire chief of the Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District, which serves the Camp Verde and Beaver Creek communities.

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