FIRE LEVY LID LIFT CONSIDERED
Daily operations at EFD are funded by a fire levy of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Growth and an aging population have caused call volumes to increase 34.3% from 2011-2019. (Calls in the past year are projected to increase 13% alone.) Overlapping calls are coming in 20.4% of the time, which takes a fire engine out of service when they happen. More calls mean added costs, and those costs are higher due to inflation. Revenue is not keeping up with the demand for and cost to provide service.
The fire levy rate falls as home values increase to limit a fire district to roughly the same amount of levy revenue per year plus new construction. For example, voters last approved a fire levy of $1.50/$1,000 in 2016, and it is projected to fall to $1.37 in 2022. EFD is considering asking voters to return the fire levy to $1.50, which would cost an owner of a $500,000 home an additional $5.42 a month ($65/year). Funding would be used to increase staffing from four to five firefighters per shift. This would guarantee both a three-person fire engine and a two-person medical aid unit in service 24-hours a day, which will improve safety for the public and its firefighters. It also will help maintain our insurance rating, which is linked to what you pay in homeowner insurance premiums.
IN THE NEWS
Thank you, residents, for participating in preparing the fire department budget – Enumclaw Courier Herald (https://www.courierherald.com/letters/thank-you-residents-for-participating-in-preparing-the-fire-department-budget/) December 3, 2021
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