FIRE DEPARTMENT NEWS
72% Approval for Proposition 1
Fire Chief Chris Connor, Commissioners Lilly Hansen, Eric Hollis, Daniel Meredith, and dedicated members of the Fall City Fire Department would like to thank the Fall City Voters for their overwhelming support in passing Proposition 1.
Information on Proposition 1
This November, Fall City voters will have an opportunity to approve a Maintenance & Operations levy that supports firefighter staffing, apparatus and equipment replacement, special operations, training, facilities, and maintenance. The election is on November 3, 2020.
Why Renew the Maintenance and Operations Levy?
The current Maintenance & Operations (M&O) levy will expire at the end of this year. In 2020, the M&O levy provided 21% of the District's funding.
The Regular Tax levy which provides 71% of the District's funding is limited by law, to a 1% increase, plus new construction, from the previous year resulting in a funding system that is dependent upon regular ballot measures to the voters.
This levy will bridge the gap and provide the funding to adequately finance maintenance and operation costs.
Levy approval will allow the District to:
Increase Firefighter staffing from eleven to twelve.
Replace our Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air packs including cylinders, facepieces, and Rescue pack.
Replace the 1999 Aid Car.
Improve training to keep our Firefighters safe.
Support our special operations; swift water rescue, technical rescue, and wildland firefighting.
In addition, the levy funds will provide for:
Increased training costs; state and federal laws have mandated additional training regulations for firefighters.
Increased costs for protective gear and equipment; state laws have mandated new regulations on the service life of protective equipment, e.g., SCBA air packs, bunker gear.
The District will continue funding for its long-term vehicle replacement program, thereby reducing additional financing costs in the future.
Maintenance of emergency vehicles (Aid Cars, Fire Engines, Water Tender, and Rescue Boats).
Maintenance of facility and equipment.
How Much Will it Cost?
The District is requesting the following four-year levy that adjusts for inflation:
$650,000 to be collected in 2021 (estimated levy rate of $0.47 per $1,000 of assessed value)
$676,000 to be collected in 2022 (estimated levy rate of $0.47 per $1,000 of assessed value)
$703,000 to be collected in 2023 (estimated levy rate of $0.47 per $1,000 of assessed value)
$731,000 to be collected in 2024 (estimated levy rate of $0.47 per $1,000 of assessed value)
The M&O Levy is expected to cost $47.00 annually or $3.92 per month for ever $1,000 of assessed value. A taxpayer with a property valued at $500,000 would see an increase from the 2020 M&O Levy of approximately $0.12710 per $1,000 assessed value, which equates to $63.55 per year or $5.29 per month.
Senior and Disabled Citizens who qualify for property tax relief are exempt from this levy.
You can click here and go to King County's Tax Transparency Tool for more information on the cost of this levy on your property.
How is the Fire District Funded?
The District's primary source of funding is from its tax levies. The District also receives revenues from service fees, grants, and donations.
Fire District's 2020 Revenue Sources:
Regular tax levy $ 1,617,667
M&O tax levy 475,000 * Expiring
KC EMS funds 112,017
Other; fees, grants 87,183
Total Revenues $ 2,291,867
Fire District's 2020 Tax Levy Rates / $1,000 of Assessed Value
Regular tax levy $ 1.16886
M&O tax levy 0.34498 * Expiring
G.O. bond levy 0.05861
Total Rates $ 1.57245
* In 2021 the final payment for the fire station remodel will be made and the bond levy will end.
What Services does the Fire District Provide?
Whether it’s a fire, medical emergency, rescue response, or natural disaster, the District’s Firefighters are trained and ready to respond. The District has 24 hour emergency response staffing with eleven career Firefighter/EMTs and thirteen Volunteer Firefighter/EMT's. There are three career Firefighters assigned to each of three shifts. Two additional career Firefighters are employed to increase coverage during the day to ensure three-person minimum staffing 24/7.
Our Volunteer Firefighters provide additional resources for the the District and raise our standard for service delivery. They work along side our career Firefighters at night from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Special Operations; the District has nine certified Swiftwater Techs and thirteen who are Red Card certified for Wildland Firefighting.
Our Services Include:
Swift Water Rescue
Fire Prevention Education
CPR / First Aid Training
Fall Prevention for Seniors
Bicycle Helmet Fitting
Blood Pressure Checks