Prop. Health Videos
Prop. Health NewsletterNewsletter Prop Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Q:What is Prop. Health?
A: Prop. Health is a proposal on the Nov. 3 ballot to protect the future of the Cottleville Fire Protection District, and the firefighters who keep our community safe. If approved, it would provide adequate funding to continue the District’s pension program, which supports retirement for our firefighters.
The additional funding would protect the health of our firefighters by giving them the opportunity to retire before they become disabled, or receive a life-threatening medical diagnosis, and protect the quality emergency services we receive.
Q: Why is Prop. Health needed now?
A: More than 20 years ago, in 1999, the community made the commitment to provide a reasonable retirement package to Cottleville Fire Protection District firefighters by approving a pension fund.
Due to sound fiscal management, the District has been able to navigate state regulated rollbacks of this tax rate, an increase in firefighters and economic fluctuations to fund the pension program without a rate increase. Unfortunately, this is no longer feasible.
Q: Have state regulations impacted the voter-approved pension tax rate?
A: Yes. Since 1999, the voter-approved pension tax rate has been rolled back by 18.5%, because of state regulations, including the Hancock Amendment.
Q: How has the growth in our community impacted pension funding?
A: In the past 20 years our community’s population has almost tripled. While the Fire District has expanded from 33 full-time firefighters to 53 to meet the demands of our growing community, the pension program has not been able to keep up.
The current pension funding level can no longer support a community and District of our size, which includes 56 full-time firefighters.
Q: At what age do firefighters typically retire?
A: In many cases, work-related injuries or illness force our firefighters to leave the truck before their retir
ement benefits are available. Working to the point of achieving adequate retirement benefits means a firefighter needs to stay on active duty until they are well into their 60s.
Q: When do Cottleville firefighters usually retire?
A: Of the original 13 CFPD firefighters hired more than 30 years ago, only two have been able to retire upon leaving service on the firetruck.
Before retirement, nearly 70% died in the line of duty, became disabled, or had to move to an administrative position within the District that required less physical activity. More than 33% our current firefighters are over the age of 50, and nearing a point where they will need to retire because of the demanding physical challenges of the job.
Q: How old are our Cottleville firefighters?
A: More than a third of Cottleville’s firefighters are 50 years old or older, while the median age is 47. Many of our firefighters have been serving the community for more than 17 years.
This information was prepared and paid for by the Cottleville Fire Protection District, Chief Skip Stephens, 1385 Motherhead Rd., St. Charles, MO 63304. This information is intended solely to educate and inform residents about a question that will be before voters. It is not intended to advocate, support or oppose the passage or defeat of the measure. Each voter should vote for or against the question based on his or her own judgment.