Clark Co. Fire Dist. 6
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News Release
Board Passes Resolution on Fire Levy Lid Lift - 03/25/20

Vancouver, Wash. – The Board of Fire Commissioners for Clark County Fire District 6 unanimously passed a resolution asking voters to consider a Fire Levy lid lift during the August 4 Primary Election.

If approved by voters, it was anticipated that the lid lift would fund additional personnel to respond to higher call volumes for fire and emergency medical service; improve firefighter training; earthquake-proof the busiest station in Hazel Dell; and, add or replace aging apparatus. Fire Chief Kristan Maurer says that revenue also could backfill costs associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. “We want to be clear that this funding request is not a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve had the need for additional revenue to respond to higher call volumes for years now,” said Chief Maurer. “However, the reality of the pandemic is that we anticipate some of the funds will be used for this purpose.”

The Fire District reported a 12.9 percent increase in emergency call volumes for 2019. If one looks at the past five years, that number jumps to almost 30 percent. Fire District officials have been sharing information with the public for several months that revenue is not keeping up with the demand for service.

Daily operations at Fire District 6 are funded through two levies paid through property taxes. The amounts are capped at the voter-approved rates of $1.50 for Fire and 50 cents for EMS (per $1,000 of assessed property value). Over time, these levy rates fall as property values rise to limit the Fire District to the same amount of revenue per year plus a one percent increase allowed by law.

For example, voters returned the Fire Levy to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value through a lid lift in 2015. Fire District 6 completed all its promised projects on time and on budget, which improved its community insurance rating. This rating is linked to how much home and business owners pay in insurance premiums.

Since 2015, the Fire Levy has fallen to $1.16 and revenue is not keeping up with the demand for service. The additional cost to an owner of a $350,000 home would be approximately $9.92 per month.

If approved by voters this fall, the lid lift would take effect in 2021. That funding would be able to backfill costs associated with COVID-19, as well as complete other emergency service projects identified by the Fire District.

More information about the Fire Levy lid lift can be found at www.ccfd6.org. Chief Kristan Maurer also is available to answer questions at (360) 576-1195 or istan.maurer@ccfd6.org">kristan.maurer@ccfd6.org.

 

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