Firefighters at Station No. 55 in Visalia are thankful. Battalion Chief, Danny Wristen says without Measure T, Station 55 wouldn't exist and the Northwest part of town would have less protection.
Wristen said, "Without Measure T, we would have had a difficult time to keep up with the growth of the community over the years."
Measure T is a quarter of a cent sales tax, approved by voters in 2004 to support police and firefighters. On Monday night, city council members will review what it has done and vote to re-authorize it.
Wristen said he's pretty sure it'll pass, "This community wants to do right by itself and willing to tax itself a little bit more and here we are today a lot better off than other places."
The police and fire departments split Measure T revenue. The fire department used it's share to build Station 55, a training facility and hire 15 firefighters.
The police department used it's share to hire 22 officers and build two sub-stations. Sergeant Paul Esquibel said the measure keeps the streets safe, "If we didn't have Measure T funding, we'd have to pull officers back from the traffic unit, the gang unit, the narcotic unit as well as officers from the youth services unit."
To be clear, Measure T isn't a new tax. If city council members approve it, sales tax won't go up. But it would continue to support public safety and possibly build one more fire station.
The city council meeting will be held at the Visalia Convention Center. It's open to the public and starts at 7:00 p.m.