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Village

Village of Caledonia 5043 Chester Lane, Racine, WI 53402

VILLAGE OF CALEDONIA REFERENDUM, APRIL 2023

The Village of Caledonia has identified a need to add additional public safety personnel to the Police and Fire Departments.

To cover the cost for six additional firefighter/paramedics, eight additional police officers, and the personal protective equipment those staff members require, voters will be asked on April 4, 2023, whether or not to support an increase in the Village’s annual tax levy, beginning with bills issued in December 2023.


WHY REFERENDUM?

Current public safety funding levels and staffing models are insufficient to meet the service demands and needs of the community. Caledonia must act now if it is to continue to respond adequately to calls for service.

 

The challenge is that the need for our public safety efforts continues to rise, but current funding sources are stagnant, decreasing, or expiring, and existing staffing levels inhibit the ability to adequately respond to calls for service.
 

Because of state-imposed levy limits, Caledonia must ask for approval from taxpayers through a referendum to increase the tax levy to fund additional staffing and wage increases.


CRITICAL NEED FOR FIREFIGHTER/PARAMEDICS

The Caledonia Fire Department experienced a 56 percent increase in calls for service and a 202 percent increase in calls to assist geriatric or physically disabled community members between 2015 and 2021, driving the need to increase funding and support additional firefighter/paramedics on staff. 

While the Village and Fire Department have worked to identify creative solutions and aggressively seek federal and state aid, including applying for and receiving federal SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Emergency Response) grants, the Village relied on these grant dollars to fund Fire Department staffing costs are expiring. The expiration of these funds reduces the number of Fire Department staff the Village can maintain by three firefighter/paramedics. As a result, without additional funding, the Caledonia Fire Department will have fewer staff in 2023 and beyond than it did in 2022.

Additional resources would enable the Caledonia Fire Department to provide a consistent, high-quality response, and hiring six additional firefighter/paramedics would increase the Department’s minimum staffing to 13 per shift, enabling a second ambulance at Station 12 – which has the greatest call volume in the Village – to be available at all times.


CRITICAL NEED FOR POLICE OFFICERS 

The Caledonia Police Department is understaffed in comparison to peer communities and requires additional officers to effectively provide public safety services to the community. With just 36 sworn officers, CPD currently  staffs a typical shift with four patrol personnel, requiring  each officer to patrol about 11.5 square miles of the nearly 46-square-mile Village – an area larger than many entire municipalities in Wisconsin – and challenging officers’ ability to provide effective proactive patrol coverage to such a large geographic area, address complex calls for service, or conduct comprehensive investigative duties

Additional staff resources would enable the Caledonia Police Department to augment its shift staffing to meet peak demand, and adequately patrol the Village while balancing proactive and reactive duties and having a greater presence in the community

If the referendum passes, adding eight additional officers to the Police Department would result in Caledonia having approximately .96 officers per square mile and 1.7 officers per 1,000 population. While officers per square mile would still remain the lowest rate compared to peer communities, officers per 1,000 of the population would be more consistent.

Resources that provide additional information are available here:

Learn more about the increased need for public safety referenda by visiting the below resources: 


VOTE TUESDAY, APRIL 4!

Absentee voting will be available in-person at the Village Clerk’s office from March 21, 2023, to March 31, 2023.

Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail for the Spring General Election is March 30, 2023.

Additional voting information can be found on the Village’s website at Caledonia-wi.gov or myvote.wi.gov.


QUESTIONS?

Email the Village of Caledonia at referendum@caledonia-wi.gov with any questions or feedback.