Alex Fregerio

The impact of $33 a month varies greatly among individuals and families in our community. For some, it's the daily cup of coffee; for others, it's the difference between making ends meet or falling behind on payments.

This amount, equivalent to what the owner of a $500,000 tax-assessed property would contribute to both fire and school levies, holds immense significance for our fire department and our entire community.

Our firefighters currently endure grueling 24-hour shifts, facing a relentless barrage of emergency calls with barely a moment's respite. This compromises their well-being and impedes crucial training and equipment maintenance, jeopardizing neighborhood safety. The looming threat of losing our ISO rating due to overstretched resources exacerbates the situation, potentially raising homeowners' insurance premiums.

However, passing the levy and investing in an additional firehouse and more personnel could enhance our ISO rating, leading to significant homeowner savings. Amidst budgetary disputes between state legislators and city officials, homeowners and renters bear the brunt of increased taxes.

Yet, amidst this conflict, we must prioritize our fire department and schools, vital for community safety and our future. As Missoulians, we must unite in support of these levies, safeguarding our community's well-being.

Let's not allow short-sighted disagreements to jeopardize safety and education. I urge everyone to vote in favor of these levies, affirming our commitment to a prosperous and secure future for all.