Kenner Fire Department Replacement Millage
About The Kenner Fire Department Replacement Millage:
On Saturday, November 18th, City of Kenner voters will be asked to decide whether or not to approve an 18.2 millage to provide necessary additional funding to the Kenner Fire Department, a vital component to the safety and quality of life for the residents and business owners of Kenner.
Currently, the dedicated millage for the Kenner Fire Department is 7.4 mils and the primary dedicated source of funding. This millage was first established in 1983 and over the past 40 years, the cost of the departments needs has increased and the millage rate has never generated the necessary funds to accommodate rising costs.
7.4 mils generate approximately $4.1 million dollars annually, however the KFD annual budget is currently $11.2 million dollars and that is with firefighters being paid wages far below industry standards. For reference, the current starting pay for a new Kenner firefighter is $8.92 dollars per hour.
If approved, this millage would be effective in 2024.
The Vitality Of The Kenner Fire Department:
Our firefighters and their effectiveness are vital to our community. As a Class 1 rated department by the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana, KFD properly staffs its Suppression Division, has a dedicated aerial truck, and initiates thousands of hours of dedicated training. Without passage of a millage to properly fund KFD, it would become increasingly difficult to maintain the Class 1 rating which will in turn, could impact insurance rates for Kenner residents and businesses.
Our KFD Firefighters responded to 2,894 calls for service in 2022 that included residential and commercial structure fires, emergency medical services, motor vehicle accidents and fires, hazardous material incidents and investigations. They are also responsible for all fire hydrant inspections, public fire prevention training, and have a properly trained urban search and rescue team.
Functionality Of Millages:
A mil in the City of Kenner generates approximately $605,000. There are a total of 26,729 taxable parcels within the City of Kenner, with 1,121 of those parcels being 100% homestead exempt. A parcel with a homestead exemption decreases the taxable value of the property. Currently, 73% of Kenner residential properties are valued under $200,000, therefore the ability to generate a large volume of tax revenue is limited.
If approved, the 18.2 millage rate will replace the current 7.4 millage rate, with a net increase of 10.8 mils. If approved, this replacement millage is expected to generate approximately $10.9 million per year, significantly decreasing the detrimental annual budget shortfall…a shortfall that the City’s general fund must be used to subsidize. Currently, the general fund subsidizes the Kenner Fire Department by approximately $6 million dollars.
If approved, the fire millage will fall more in line with fire millages assessed to residents and business owners in nearby jurisdictions and districts. For example, the Eastbank Consolidated Fire Department has a dedicated 25 mils. The independent fire districts across the Westbank of unincorporated Jefferson Parish have dedicated millages ranging from 20 to 24.45 mills. Replacing the 7.4 mils for KFD with 18.2 mils is still going to cost a Kenner resident or business owner less than one in unincorporated Jefferson Parish.
If approved, the fire millage will fall more in line with fire millages assessed to residents and business owners in nearby jurisdictions and districts. For example, the Eastbank Consolidated Fire Department has a dedicated 25 mills. The independent fire districts across the Westbank of unincorporated Jefferson Parish have dedicated millages ranging from 20 to 24.45 mills. Replacing the 7.4 mils for KFD with 18.2 mils is still going to cost a Kenner resident or business owner less than one in unincorporated Jefferson Parish.
Moving on to the topic of what it will cost you, an 18.2 millage will cost the owner of a property assessed at $100,000 $3.83 per month, or $.12 per day, or $.01 per incident. The owner of a property assessed at $300,000 will pay $34.16 per month, or $1.12 per day, or $0.14 per incident.
If approved, this replacement millage will generate additional funds to pay fire personnel adequate wages so that the KFD is able to increase the retention of these vital first responders. It will fund construction and renovation of fire stations, the purchase of personal protective equipment, firefighting equipment and training opportunities.
To learn more about the upcoming replacement millage, members of the public have the opportunity to attend 2 town halls hosted by the Kenner Fire Department and the City of Kenner.
November 6 Town Hall
Exhibition Hall located at 415 Williams Blvd.
November 7 Town Hall
Kenner Pavillion located at 3800 Loyola Dr.