Hearing set for possible Bloomfield tax hike

The Daily Times staff

FARMINGTON - The Bloomfield City Council will hold a public hearing on April 11 on a proposed special election for voters to decide on a proposed tax increase to maintain the current level of staffing at the Bloomfield Fire Department.

City Manager Eric Strahl said councilors could possibly vote on a measure to hold the election during the meeting.

The possible election would let residents vote on raising the city's gross receipts tax by one-quarter of 1 percent to keep maintain the department's current paid staffing level after a $1 million federal grant expires in May. The current Bloomfield budget allows for the city to pay for three firefighters, while a federal grant covers the cost of seven more, giving the city a total of 10 firefighters.

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant has covered the firefighters' pay since 2014. The projected tax increase would generate about $570,000 in revenue annually and cover the $450,000 needed to pay the salaries of the seven firefighters.

If the proposed election is approved, it would take place between July 28 and Sept. 18 to avoid conflicts with general and primary elections later this year.