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Bigfork Water Bond clarifications

| February 19, 2020 10:57 AM

A recent letter to the editor contained false and misleading information regarding the upcoming Bigfork Water Bond.

Fire crews responding to a fire must have quick and easy access to water. The easier the access is to water, the easier it is to extinguish the blaze. The Bigfork Fire Department has indicated there is no easy access points to pull water from the lake, especially during the winter. Water stored by the Bigfork Water District is the quickest, most reliable source of water for fire protection. Prior to an event, all fire trucks are filled in the District with untreated water from fire hydrants with no cost to the Fire District.

Fire protection benefits all residents of Bigfork, regardless of how much water is used. As such, the District has elected to fund the project through a GO Bond, which is based on property value, not water usage. The higher the property value, the higher the potential loss, the higher the yearly assessment.

The primary purpose of this project is for fire protection for all existing residents, not future growth. In the future, new properties annexed will pay for the bond as well, relieving some of the burden of existing property owners. The Bigfork Water and Sewer District considers this project a top priority to provide fire protection to the community. A GO Bond is the most fair, equitable way to fund the project. Please feel free to contact Bigfork Water & Sewer 108 Harbor Heights Blvd., Bigfork, MT or call 406-837-4566 we would be happy to discuss all questions.

— Bigfork County Water & Sewer District Board: Tom Cahill, Gene Helberg, Seth Price, Lloyd Ross, Bob Keenan and District Manager Julie Spencer.