SNOHOMISH, Wash., March 7, 2023—The Snohomish County Fire District 4 Board of Fire Commissioners will meet March 14 to discuss a resolution to place a fire levy lid lift on the August 1, 2023, primary election ballot. The community is encouraged to attend the meeting at 7 p.m. in the Harvey Room of the Educational Annex, 1525 Avenue D.
Call volumes are up 34 percent in the last 10 years. The fire district responds to an average of 4,500 calls per year – of which 60 percent are for emergency medical service (EMS). In addition, overlapping calls – that’s when two or more come in at the same time – are happening 28 percent of the time. The higher call volumes and overlapping calls are leading to longer response times.
“This is a safety issue for our community and its firefighters,” Fire Chief Don Waller said. “We require additional personnel to keep up with higher call volumes and overlapping calls. In addition, our facilities need to be updated for community safety and the health and safety of our firefighters.”
If approved by voters, the fire levy lid lift will fund eight firefighters over six years to provide both a fire engine and medic unit in service at the same time. Currently, the fire district can staff just one or the other. It will also build a fire station on Pilchuck Avenue and replace one other as funding allows. These facility projects will allow for faster response times and provide modern decontamination facilities to improve firefighter health and safety.
The fire district has a history of paying cash for capital projects like stations and equipment, which saves taxpayers money. The fire levy lid lift would continue this cost-saving measure.
The fire district is asking voters to return the fire levy from $1.15 to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The lid lift would cost an additional $15 per month for the owner of a $500,000 home.
SOURCE: Snohomish County Fire District 4