OPINION: Public input will enhance safety plan

Published 8:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2018

When it comes to making decisions about how to best spend taxpayer money, it’s important to actually get input from those paying taxes and those who will be impacted by the changes.

We think it was a good investment on the county’s part to fund a study by the Bluegrass Area Development District about fire services.

The Clark County Fiscal Court has agreed to pay up to $5,000 for the study that has already begun and may be a catalyst for some much-needed equipment upgrades, staffing allocations and other improvements at the Clark County Fire Department.

The funds for the study were covered by excess fees from the county attorney’s office.

Beyond the initial investment, the potential positive impact of the study is bolstered even more so by the level of public input allowed and encouraged in the process.

The fire department has already hosted an open house and information session, where several members of the community were given the opportunity to answer a brief survey about fire services.

Now, the department has opened that survey up to the entire community.

The survey is now available on the county’s website, www. clarkcoky.com. The survey can be completed online, or paper copies are available in the judge-executive’s office or at the Clark County Fire Department.

Questions ask about the respondents proximity to a fire station, knowledge of the department’s services, whether or not they have needed the fire department, whether they would support an additional taxes to support fire protection efforts, their reaction to the Stuff Recycling fire in June and if they think the county needs an additional fire station.

There is no doubt the local fire departments do an excellent job with the resources available. But recent events, namely the fire at Stuff Recycling, reiterate the need for constant growth and change in response to new information.

Many argued there was a lack of sufficient equipment and available water sources nearby during the Stuff fire.

This study has the potential to not only address those concerns but bring to light others. It will serve as a valuable tool for the department as they continue shaping and improving emergency response plans and for the fiscal court as they evaluate how to best allocate funds to the department.

The key here is the public provides substantial and honest input.

 

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. The board is comprised of publisher Michael Caldwell and managing editor Whitney Leggett. To inquire about a meeting with the board, contact Caldwell at 759-0095.