The area’s business community will come together in a show of strength for safety on Tuesday, April 13, as the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce officially announces its endorsement of the upcoming safety levy at a 10:30 a.m. campaign launch in the parking lot of its 1116 Smith Street offices.

We hope you will join the Charleston Chamber and representatives of area fire, police and ambulance departments, as well as the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority, at this event to learn what the levy means to you, your business, your family and your community.

The levy, which is on the May 11 Kanawha County ballot, is a continuation of the existing levy and requires 60 percent approval to pass. Every vote counts. The levy raises $14.9 million annually for ambulance, bus, fire and police services.    Failure of the levy will result in dramatic cutbacks in vital services to our community.

We must not allow this protection plan to fail. If it does, we will see a loss in automatic response for vehicle accidents, reduced service in rural areas, a decrease in bus service and transportation for the disabled and a longer response time for 911 calls.

The levy is not a tax increase. Kanawha County households now pay about 14 cents a day to support 22 fire departments that respond first to emergencies, ambulances that respond to 90 percent of calls within eight minutes and transport more than 200 patients every day and busses that pick up thousands of passengers each day.

These are impressive statistics. They translate to the quickness and efficiency that often mean the difference between life and death.

The ambulance, police and fire forces are filled with men and women who make it their duty to protect our friends and families. They are there — for us — 365 days a year.

For just one day — May 11 — they’ll need our help. They’ll need our vote.

Please help us highlight the importance of the levy to our community by joining us at the campaign kick off on April 13.

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