City of Battle Ground
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News Releases
Connect with Battle Ground Police Officers on Coffee with a Cop Day - 09/18/19

Battle Ground police officers invite community members to join them and connect over a cup of coffee on National Coffee with a Cop Day Wednesday, October 2 from 10:00 to 11:30 am at Old Town Battle Grounds located at 316 East Main Street.

Coffee with a Cop Day provides opportunity for an open dialogue between Battle Ground police officers and the community in a friendly and informal setting.   There is no specific topic; officers want to hear from and talk with Battle Ground citizens about what matters to them.  Community members of of all ages - decaf, regular and non-coffee drinkers alike - are encouraged to attend. 

The department thanks Old Town Battle Grounds for providing a welcoming place for this year’s Coffee with a Cop.

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The City of Battle Ground, located in the heart of Clark County, WA serves 21,520 residents.  The surrounding natural beauty, access to recreation activities, and close proximity to the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area make Battle Ground a desirable place to live and has created a period of considerable growth. The City functions under a Council-Manager form of government and provides vital public services such as police, planning and development, roads, parks, utilities and others. City leaders operate under guiding principles that were created with community input through a recent visioning process. More information about the City, including a list of its guiding principles can be found at www.cityofbg.org.

 

Public Invited to Hearings on Possible Annexation Vote for City and Fire District - 09/18/19

BATTLE GROUND & BRUSH PRAIRIE, WA— Three public hearings are scheduled where the city of Battle Ground will discuss the possibility of annexing to Clark County Fire District 3. The public is invited to attend and comment on a ballot measure proposed for the February 11, 2020 Special Election. Voters in both the city and fire district must approve annexation for it to go forward.

Battle Ground is holding two public hearings on October 7 and 21 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 109 SW 1st Street. Fire District 3 is holding its public hearing on October 28 at 4:00 p.m. at 17718 NE 159th Street, Brush Prairie, Wash. 98606. The public is invited and encouraged to attend and provide comment at any or all of the meetings.

Battle Ground and Fire District 3 have been discussing the possibility of annexation for a year. The City contracts for fire and EMS with Fire District 3. Call volumes have increased to the point that costs to provide service are impacting the City’s ability to provide others such as police, roads, parks, and community programs. Specifically, the current fire services contract is $1.35 of the city’s $1.37 per $1,000 general property tax levy. The fire services contract would exceed the City’s general property tax levy in 2021.

Battle Ground is the only city in the area that contracts for emergency services. A contract is short-term and, because of its temporary nature, prevents the fire district from being able to invest in long-term operational and capital items. The City is unable to fund these needs on its own.

Both the Battle Ground City Council and Board of Fire Commissioners must approve a resolution to place annexation on the ballot for voter approval in both jurisdictions. If voters approve annexation, the City would reduce its utility tax for water, sewer and stormwater for property owners and renters. This would offset the cost of the new fire levy for City property owners by 30 percent.

If annexation is approved, the fire levy rate will not change for fire district residents. All property owners will pay the same projected rate of $1.30 per $1,000 of assessed value. City residents also would be able to vote on fire district issues such as commissioners, levies, and bonds, which they currently can’t do.

More information can be found on the City’s website at https://www.cityofbg.org/470/Fire-Emergency-Medical-Services.  People with additional questions are encouraged to email Chief Scott Sorenson (scott@fire3.org) or City Manager Erin Erdman (in.erdman@cityofbg.org">erin.erdman@cityofbg.org).

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The City of Battle Ground, located in the heart of Clark County, Wash., serves 21,500 residents.  The surrounding natural beauty, access to recreation activities, and close proximity to the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area make Battle Ground a desirable place to live and has created a period of considerable growth. The City functions under a Council-Manager form of government and provides vital public services such as police, planning and development, roads, parks, utilities and others. City leaders operate under guiding principles that were created with community input through a recent visioning process. More information about the City, including a list of its guiding principles can be found at www.cityofbg.org.

Clark County Fire District 3 provides fire suppression and emergency medical service to 40,000 people over 90 square miles, including the City of Battle Ground. Forty-five full-time and 13 volunteer emergency personnel responded to 4,221 calls in 2018 – 5.3% higher than the previous year. We live by our core values of professionalism, safety, teamwork, integrity, and community. More information on Fire District 3 can be found on its website www.fire3.org.

City of Battle Ground Identifies Improvements or Cuts if Annexation Occurs - 08/30/19

BATTLE GROUND & BRUSH PRAIRIE, WA— Discussions about a possible annexation vote between the City of Battle Ground and Clark County Fire District 3 continue to progress. At a recent Battle Ground City Council study session, members reviewed a list of improvements or cuts to services if an annexation vote should happen in 2020 for City and Fire District residents.

“Like Fire District 3, we must have a plan if a vote for annexation should take place,” said City Manager Erin Erdman. “This was difficult for our council, but they are unified in taking steps to plan if the annexation passes or fails.”

Currently, Battle Ground is the only city in the area that contracts for emergency services and it does so with Fire District 3. A contract is short-term and prevents the Fire District and the City from being able to invest in long-term operational and capital items required by City residents. The City can’t fund these needs on its own without impacting other departments, such as police, streets, parks, and other community programs.

The current contract for fire services costs $1.35 of the City’s property tax levy, which is $1.37 per $1,000 of assessed value. That leaves just 2-cents per $1,000 for other services. Call volumes in the City have increased to the point that the fire services contract would exceed the City’s general property tax levy in 2021.

The City and Fire District have discussed the possibility of annexation for over a year. If annexation passes, the City would reduce its utility tax for water, sewer and stormwater drainage by 10 percent, which equates to about a third of the cost for fire service. This will help offset costs for property owners and renters in the City limits. Remaining revenue would be used for:

  • Better fire and police response times, including more firefighters and officers for traffic patrols and investigative services
  • Capital improvements for emergency apparatus and facilities
  • More street maintenance and preservation projects, sidewalk repairs and replacement
  • Better parks maintenance, and planning for park and recreation facilities and a network of trails and bikeways 
  • More programs and events that engage and strengthen community

Recently, the City and Fire District started exploring what a new Fire/EMS contract would look like if annexation fails. In that case, there would be no utility tax decrease and the City would plan to reduce or cut services in the following areas to maintain a balanced budget. These items include:

  • Cuts to personnel in fire and police, which means longer response times
    • For fire services:
      • Reducing types of calls responded to, such as falls at care facilities in the City
      • Reduced day time staffing at the City fire station
      • Eliminating community service programs, such as free blood pressure checks, station tours, National Night Out, open houses, birthday party events, free smoke alarm installation, school prevention programs, and career night
      • Eliminating fire safety and prevention services in local schools
    • For police services:
      • Investigative priority will be crimes of violence and property crimes with known suspects; investigations will be delayed due to fewer staffing resources
      • Reduction in traffic enforcement and other community patrols
      • No police response to traffic accidents except for injuries and DUIs
      • No in-person police response for theft, fraud, vandalism where there is no suspect information (on-line reporting only)
      • No police response to drug and vice complaints
      • Cuts to police participation in community events such as the downtown Halloween event, police station tours, National Night Out, Shop with a Cop, K-9 presentations, and Drug Take Back Days
  • Higher insurance premiums for home and business owners due to lower levels of emergency services
  • Less street maintenance and preservation projects and street sweeping
  • Infrequent mowing and watering of parks; closure of splash pads
  • Cuts to community center hours as well as summer playground and holiday programs and activities

The partnership between the City and Fire District also provides benefits to county taxpayers. Fire District 3 property owners could lose back up units to respond to calls, and pay for all administrative costs if the contract is not renewed, which are currently shared between the two jurisdictions.

“We will still have these positions because they are required to serve the emergency service needs of our community,” said Fire Chief Scott Sorenson. “The difference is that it will cost our taxpayers more.”

He continues. “There is no doubt that we are stronger working together. The issue is that the City has emergency service needs that we cannot continue to fund through a contract relationship. If we did, either our taxpayers would be subsidizing property owners in the City, or the City would have to make significant cuts to police, streets, parks, and community programs. Under annexation, everyone pays the same rate and we can plan to meet the demand for quality emergency services as our communities grow.”

If annexation is approved, the fire levy rate is projected to be $1.30 per $1,000 of assessed property value. If City residents approve annexation, it effectively locks in the same rate for fire service that District property owners pay. This eliminates the risk that City property owners could pay more for emergency services than those who live in the unincorporated areas of the Fire District.

City residents also would be able to vote on fire district issues such as commissioners, levies, and bonds, which they currently can’t do. Residents of both the City and Fire District must approve a ballot measure for it to take effect.

More information can be found on the City’s website at https://www.cityofbg.org/470/Fire-Emergency-Medical-Services.  People with additional questions are encouraged to email Chief Scott Sorenson (scott@fire3.org) or City Manager Erin Erdman (in.erdman@cityofbg.org">erin.erdman@cityofbg.org) personally.

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Clark County Fire District 3 provides fire suppression and emergency medical service to 40,000 people over 90 square miles, including the City of Battle Ground. Forty-five full-time and 13 volunteer emergency personnel responded to 4,221 calls in 2018 – 5.3% higher than the previous year. We live by our core values of professionalism, safety, teamwork, integrity, and community.  More information on Fire District 3 can be found on its website www.fire3.org.

The City of Battle Ground, located in the heart of Clark County, Wash., serves 21,500 residents.  The surrounding natural beauty, access to recreation activities, and close proximity to the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area make Battle Ground a desirable place to live and has created a period of considerable growth. The City functions under a Council-Manager form of government and provides vital public services such as police, planning and development, roads, parks, utilities and others. City leaders operate under guiding principles that were created with community input through a recent visioning process. More information about the City, including a list of its guiding principles can be found at www.cityofbg.org.

Battle Ground's Free Family Movie Night -- New Showings & Activities - 08/29/19

Battle Ground Parks & Recreation’s free Family Movie Night at the Community Center continues throughout this year with the showing of fun, family friendly movies one Friday each month. Plus, we’re adding a special movie-themed children’s activity when doors open prior to movie show time. 

Family Movie Night proved to be a big hit this summer.  Movies are shown in the comfort of the beautiful Battle Ground Community Center located at 912 East Main Street.  Families are encouraged to bring snacks, lawn chairs, blankets and get cozy.   

We’ve added a free, movie themed activity for kids when the doors open at 6:30 pm;  show time is at 7:30 pm.  While we are unable the publicize movie titles, we’ll give some hints along the way.  It’s always fun to guess, or, simply stop by or call the Battle Ground Community Center at 360-342-5380; our friendly and helpful staff can release the name of the movie by phone or in person.

Family Move Nights are scheduled on a Friday evening of each month - September 13, October 25, November 22, and December 27.   Movie descriptions and activity details are listed at Family Movie Night.   Follow the city’s Facebook page at for updates.

We invite businesses to join the fun by participating as a Family Movie Night sponsor or food vendor.  Those interested may visit the Family Movie Night website page for information and application or contact Recreation and Facilities Supervisor Mattie Buckmiller directly at 360-342-5385 or uckmiller@cityofbg.org" target="_blank">mattie.buckmiller@cityofbg.org.  

See you at the movies!