On March 7, the citizens of Madera County have a chance to improve public safety.
Voting “yes” on Measure L will increase the sales tax in the unincorporated areas of the county by one cent. The monies collected will be spent on new fire and sheriff services and will not go into the general fund. Eighty percent of the revenue will go toward fire protection and 20 percent will go to the sheriff’s department.
New fire stations will be built in Bass Lake, North Fork and Chowchilla/Fairmead. Each station will get a new fire truck and by the end of the tax, 10 new full-time firefighters will be employed. Volunteer and paid call firefighters (PCFs) will receive training, emergency medical call reimbursement and new gear.
Currently PCFs are only paid for firefighting; they are not paid for responding to flooding, vehicle accidents or medical calls and pay for their own gear. PCFs in Madera County are down from 300 to just 70 in 2017.
The sheriff’s office will hire nine new deputies, which will greatly improve response times in rural areas. Medicine and groceries are exempt and not included in the sales tax. Please vote “Yes” on Measure L.
Santos Garcia, Madera