ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) Face paying more taxes or risk a potentially whopping one time fee, that's the question many voters deliberated when considering proposition 12.
Prop 12 asked voters if a section of the Eagle River Valley should be annexed into the Anchorage Fire Department's service area. In unofficial results, voters from Anchorage supported the measure, but those in the Eagle River Valley do not.
"There were a lot of people that really didn't like the risk of not being covered," Dave Schade, President of the Eagle River Valley Community Council said.
If the proposition passes, Anchorage fire services would be extended to include land and areas in the northeast portion of the Eagle River Valley, which are not currently under AFD jurisdiction. It also means paying a tax for the response.
"We were kind of nervous paying the $238 per $100,000 that our house is worth to have maybe fire service come to our house if there's a fire," Jeanine Firmin who lives in the area said.
"I think a lot of the no votes were, 'Are we really going to get the protection for the cost that it's gonna be?' and in the tough economic times adding a tax bill raised serious concerns," Schade said.
Schade says AFD will respond to the area if it's available with back-up from Chugiak firefighters. But it comes at a cost to the home or property owner. The muni will charge a flat fee of $500 plus an additional $100 dollars per hour of use for equipment like the lander truck and a tender.
In order to pass the proposition would have to be approved by both Anchorage and Eagle River Valley residents.
Chair of the Anchorage Assembly, Dick Traini says if the proposal fails the assembly is likely to begin discussing new fees at the next meeting.