Vote ‘Yes’ for the tax levy

To the editor:

What is more important than keeping our residents safe on our streets and in emergency situations? Public safety is certainly City Council’s top priority. That is why we are asking voters to vote in favor of the 0.30 percent income tax issue on the May 7 ballot.

The fire department’s call volume has reached historic highs. For the past three years, the department has answered more than 4,000 calls annually — or an average of more than 11 per day. Response time is vital.

Our community is continuing to experience rapid growth and the challenges associated with that growth. The ability to deliver emergency services is among those challenges.

The levy will NOT tax Social Security, pensions, disability, 401K, or investment income. The actual tax increase for an individual making $35,000 per year will be $17.50 — or the equivalent of a few cups of coffee.

Every firefighter wants to provide the best service they can for their neighbors, friends and family members. They need your help. They need the community’s help. You can provide that help by voting “YES” in support of the income tax levy on May 7.

The additional fire station is located so that the firefighters will be better able to save lives and preserve property. The difference between success and failure in their mission often boils down to minutes and unfortunately, even seconds. Your vote in support of the levy will help our safety forces respond quickly and safely and make Sidney a safer community. By voting YES, you may be helping to save the life of someone close to you — perhaps even yourself.

In addition, the levy will allow us to continue the progress we have made on improving our streets. Your YES vote five years ago has allowed us to address 60 percent of our streets and roads.

The 0.30 percent levy will be equally divided with half being used for streets and bridges and the other half for the construction and staffing of an additional fire station.

I can assure you that City Council will continue to be good stewards of the tax dollars entrusted to our care. We will continue to deliver top-notch emergency services and continue the street improvements as well as the other services that you have come to expect.

I thank you in advance for your support May 7.

Ed Hamaker

Third-ward council member