ARAPAHOE COUNTY - After partnering with the City of Littleton for 70 years, the Littleton Fire Protection District voted to join forces with South Metro Fire Rescue.
"You'll see the same trucks showing up. They'll hopefully be getting there a lot faster, but otherwise to the community, you're not gonna really see a change in service," Keith Gardner, Littleton Fire Protection District president said.
Gardner's fire stations protect areas from Centennial to parts of Jefferson County. He says the decision to merge with South Metro is based on financial sustainability and improved service because South Metro has more resources and stricter standards.
"Our community's aging. There's more services that are required by our citizens. So, that was one of our bigger drivers for trying to figure out how can we get improved service at a long-term sustainable cost."
But, voters still have to approve the changes which would include an increase in property taxes.
"South Metro will be running an election next year for inclusion into their district and what that could mean to voters is if you have a $300,000 home, you would have a 10 cents a day increase," Gardner said.
He says without this move, Littleton Fire Protection District would have to consider serious cuts.
"As we get into 2019 and 2020, without increased revenue, we were gonna end up looking at having to cut something and as a special district, we only do one thing and that's fire."
The election will take place in May. If the vote doesn't pass, Gardner says it will likely be put to voters again. If it does pass, the consolidation will take effect January 1, 2019. Firefighters do not expect any job loss.
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