The Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 Board of Directors are proposing to keep the district’s property levy flat next year.

The Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 Board of Directors are proposing to keep the district’s property levy flat next year.

Board members will have a public hearing on the proposed 2020 budget at 7 p.m. Aug. 19 at the fire station in Lansing, 111 E. Kansas Ave. At the conclusion of the hearing, board members will be able to approve the budget.

The proposed $1.4 million budget will keep the district’s mill levy flat at 8.919 mills. The mill levy is used in determining property taxes.

Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 provides fire department services to the city of Lansing and Delaware and High Prairie townships. The fire district maintains its own property tax levy.

The fire district published a notification of the public hearing along with information about the proposed budget in the newspaper. Last month’s publication of the notice established maximum limits for expenditures and the levying of property taxes. But board members would still have the option of reducing the budget during the public hearing.

Even though the mill levy will remain flat, Fire Chief Todd Farley acknowledged that an increase in assessed valuation will generate an increase in tax revenue for the district.

Among the planned expenditures for 2020 is the hiring of a couple additional part-time firefighters.

Fire District No. 1 utilizes volunteer firefighters as well as paid members.

Farley said the part-time firefighters help increase staffing levels during the daytime.

“So the part-time program is working really well,” he said.

Farley said the budget also will include funding for preventive maintenance as well as replacing some of the department’s radios.

While the fire district serves Lansing, city officials are seeking to terminate a 2003 interlocal agreement that established the district. They are seeking to terminate the contract in June and divide the assets of Fire District No. 1.

Lansing officials have indicated they plan to operate a city fire department in the future.

The governing bodies of the Delaware and High Prairie townships have filed a lawsuit to prevent Lansing from exercising a termination provision in the 2003 agreement. The governing bodies of the two townships argue the termination provision should be considered null and void because it does not comply with state law.

The case is still pending in Leavenworth County District Court.

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