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City of Fort Atkinson Announces April 5 Election Referendum Question

According to a press release from the City of Fort Atkinson, last night City Council voted to approve a referendum question asking voters whether or not to increase the tax levy for the City of Fort Atkinson to fund the hiring of six additional full-time firefighter/paramedics, six full-time firefighter/EMTs, and two full-time police officers. The referendum comes in response to increasing calls for service and outdated staffing structures which inhibit the departments’ ability to adequately and sustainably respond to calls for service. Right now, the fire department relies mostly on part-time volunteer staff as opposed to full-time, professional staff. With the increase in calls, the structure is unsustainable and results in prolonged response times as volunteers must leave from their homes or places of employment instead of the fire station. Having professional, full-time staff would reduce the average roll-out time from 7 minutes to 90 seconds. If Fort Atkinson residents approve the referendum, the 2022 tax levy, which is collected in 2023, and each year going forward would increase by approximately $769 thousand to cover the cost of the 14 added public safety personnel. This means property taxes would increase by about $82.22 annually on a home valued at $100 thousand. The exact wording on the referendum on the Tuesday, April 5 ballot is as follows:

“Under state law, the increase in the levy of the City of Fort Atkinson for the tax to be

imposed for the next fiscal year, 2023, is limited to 0.349%, which results in a levy of

$7,871,614. Shall the City of Fort Atkinson be allowed to exceed this limit and increase the

levy for the next fiscal year, 2023, for the purpose of hiring six (6) full-time

Firefighter/Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians, six (6) full-time

Firefighter/Paramedics, and two (2) Police Officers, by a total of 9.774%, which results in a

levy of $8,640,949, and on an ongoing basis, include the increase of $769,335 for each

fiscal year going forward?”

If you have any questions on the referendum, email

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