Warrenton fire chief says truck failure highlights the need for additional tax funding


WARRENTON, Mo. – The Warrenton Fire District was down to one rescue pumper and it was broken down for hours on Monday after the truck’s radiator blew.

Fire Chief Anthony Hayesslip said the department is struggling and they need a rescue. The rescue pumper has been repaired but the fire chief fears this could happen again.

“So, with this truck going down this morning was a scare for us, cause the last time it went down, we were without of the truck for seven days until we got it back in service,” Hayesslip said.

The rescue pumper was repaired within hours.

The chief said the district is struggling financially and it’s been one thing after another.

The Warrenton Fire District has sold multiple fire trucks and retired two other vehicles trying to save the department.

Voters multiple times have turned down tax proposals. The department has not had a tax increase in 20 years.

“We started using reserve money that troubled us a little bit, increased cost of operations, everything else we went for tax increase 2014, failed 2016, failed 2018, 2020 failed,” Hayesslip said. “Operational expenses have increased more than the increase of revenue that they bring in and over several years our operations costs are outpacing our tax revenue, so we need a tax increase.”

Junge Stan, a Warrenton resident, watched his home burn in February.

“I got back home, sat down and was going to eat dinner, and heard some popping and happened to look up and seen the fire was in the celling,” he said. “We called 911 and got out.”

Stan said although fire crews responded quickly to his home, his home could not be saved.

“It’s a clear reminder that first responders put their lives on the line every day,” he said.

Stan wants to make sure crews have the tools they need.

“It all goes to these guys,” he said. “If you are out there, you watch these guys if you are out there. You watch these guys in 10-degree weather putting fire out on your house, you’ll understand what that halo cent really means.”

The tax proposal will be on the ballot again this April 6, 2021.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News