GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KREX) — Property owners beyond Grand Junction’s city limits and inside the sub-districts will soon decide if raising the fire district’s property tax mill levy a combined $574,122 dollars or an increased 2.049 mills are in their best interest. The second question for sub-district voters in the Redlands will be whether to dissolve the Redlands subdistrict represented in blue.

Duncan Brown with the GJ Rural Fire Protection District says this move would get rid of some fees facing the Redlands subdistrict. Brown says, “it’s outlived its usefulness. When we eliminate the Redlands subdistrict it  will eliminate some dual administration fees that we have due to taking care of the subdistrict and taking care of the rural fire protection district.”

Through an inter-governmental agreement with the Grand Junction Fire Department, GJRFPD pays for services from GJFD to respond to fires, EMS, and hazmat services, outside city limits.

Colleen Marie Rouse lives in north Grand Junction and is concerned the mill levy targets a certain area, leaving out a big portion of homeowners, “if they want the mill levy to go up, then it should go up for  everybody, not just rural people.”

GJRFPD says the most efficient way to deliver fire and emergency services is through a contract with the city so services aren’t duplicated. Those who do live in the Grand Junction rural districts excluding the Redlands would see property taxes slightly rise. Brown also says, “for a property valued at $300,000, the increase would like $43.71 per year.”

Rouse who lives on a fixed income is worried the increase will stretch her budget beyond her means, “it’s just going to be another burden of more money needed.”

Brown added, “it’s a difficult decision for us to make. We realize people are on fixed incomes and we do understand this may be an increase for them.  One of the things we want to do is provide equity throughout the Redlands subdistrict.” The catch? both ballot measures have to pass for either one to take effect.