As of Tuesday, May 22, 2018
FALLS CITY — Voters in Falls City overwhelmingly supported a five-year levy for the Falls City Fire Department on the ballot in the May 15 primary.
The measure passed 178 to 64, or by nearly 74 percent.
Mayor Jeremy Gordon said he was nervous about the vote, knowing that while the community stands behind its fire department, tax increases are never easy.
“I was thrilled to see that over 7o percent of voters supported the levy and am inspired by the outpouring of support from area fire departments, the extra time put in by our volunteers and EMS staff, and now the hard-earned contribution from Falls City taxpayers to help us ensure that the Falls City Fire Department operates as strong as ever,” Gordon said.
The levy charges about $1 per $1,000 of assessed value on properties. The levy will raise about $220,000 over its life, or about $44,000 each year.
It is intended to pay for breathing units required for firefighters to enter burning buildings, a duty truck, firefighter protective clothing — called turnouts — station building maintenance, and partial operations funding.
Gordon said the priorities on that list are purchasing a duty truck to response to medical calls, breathing units, turnouts, and putting money aside for equipment replacement.
“We will work with fire department leadership and City Manager (Mac) Corthell to prioritize needs and ensure that the funds are spent in a way that will have the most impact while being prudent from a budgetary standpoint,” he said.
Fire Chief Bob Young said he would like to thank the community for its support of the levy. He said with the levy, the department will “continue to provide quality fire and EMS protection.”
“This levy will provide better protection for the volunteers of FCFD, as well as the community members that they proudly serve every day,” said Falls City Fire spokeswoman Megan Sykes in a statement.