"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Monday, May 4, 2015

Fee Basis for Lakes Region Mutual Aid Fair and Equitable?

The Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid Association of which we are a member community is the central dispatch for fire, rescue, and EMS calls for 35 different communities in the central part of the state. Their dispatch center is housed in Laconia next to the former state prison.
Support is provide by each member community in three ways; a fixed charge of 10% of expenses equally shared by each community, a valuation factor and a population factor. A valuation factor is arrived at by dividing 40% of the total budget by the total evaluation of all member communities. The population factor is arrived at by dividing 50% of the total budget by the total population of all member communities. Those factors are then multiplied by the total valuation and population respectively for each member community.
The following charts are from the 2014 annual report. ( Follow the yellow highlighted section for Moultonboro's information in the middle two chart below.)
Of the total LRMFA expenses of $1,159,679.59 , Moultonboro paid $91,225.18 or  7.89% . That is far better than using just total valuation, as the cost to Moultonboro would be almost double. The "but" in these calculations though is usage, specifically call volume.
We are ninth in total calls ( 795) but pay the second highest cost right behind Laconia, which by far had the highest number of calls ( 3,818), almost 5 times as many as Moultonboro. That's $304 per call for Laconia vs. $1,458 per call for Moultonboro. In raw numbers, the overall cost per call is just $52.
In terms of funding formulas, compared to county appropriations and the Lakes Region Planning Association, this is far more equitable, but there is plenty of room for improvement. There is no formula, or combination of formulas that ultimately leads to a more favorable outcome for Moultonboro so long as it includes heavy reliance on our property values.We will continue to subsidize other less property rich communities at every level.


Anonymous said...

Not much different than the property tax. The users of the tax paid services don't necessarily pay, the people with the highest valued property do.

Anonymous said...

And how fortunate are we that we have this mutual fire aid association so if the need for manpower, apparatus etc, were to arise, we have them?

Anonymous said...

This situation appears no different than the Carroll Country assessments. The formula may be different, but the fact that property values are a large part of the calculation means Moultonborough is carrying the water for everyone else. At least we do get fire services.....we get little to no real benefit from Carroll Country Sheriffs office. So BOS, what are you to do ???????????