Board of Fire Commissioners will discuss a resolution for a fire levy lid lift during an upcoming meeting
VANCOUVER – Clark County Fire District 6 reported a 12.9 percent increase in emergency call volumes for 2019. Over the past five years, that number jumps to almost 30 percent.
According to a news release issued by Fire District 6, revenue is not keeping up with the demand for service, and the Board of Fire Commissioners will discuss a resolution for a fire levy lid lift during an upcoming meeting. If the resolution is approved by the Board, voters would see a fire levy lid lift on the Aug. 4 Primary Election ballot.
The meeting will be held on Tue., March 17 at 6:30 p.m. at 8800 NE Hazel Dell Ave., Vancouver. The public is invited to attend and learn more about the challenges to service. Those unable to attend are encouraged to send written communication to Fire Chief Kristan Maurer at firstname.lastname@example.org or the station address above. All comments are welcome and become part of the official record.
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, according to district officials, 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, according to Fire District 6 officials. If approved by voters, 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. The additional cost to an owner of a $350,000 home would be approximately $9.92 per month.
The lid lift would allow the fire district to pay for these projects with cash as opposed to financing, which costs taxpayers more due to interest payments. More information can be found at www.ccfd6.org.
Information provided by Clark County Fire District 6.