State Auditor Nicole Galloway says a $1.8 million fire station in the Smithville area near Kansas City continues to sit virtually empty, even though construction was completed about two years ago. Her follow-up audit says the Fire Protection District’s previous board went ahead with the local taxpayer-funded building of the station without a plan to pay for staff, equipment and other operating costs.
In a press release, Galloway, a Democrat, says all fire-related emergencies in the area are still responded to from a different station.
The mismanagement of the station’s outcome was handled by a previous board and fire chief when Galloway says the district’s financial practices appear to have broken state law. A previous audit by Galloway uncovered more than $200,000 in bonuses paid out to full-time workers at the fire district between 2011 and 2015.
The latest fire chief indicates the board anticipates asking voters for increases in the property tax levy in November 2020 and the sales tax to help fund the site’s operations.
To view the audit, click here.
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