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Benton County Fire District #1
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Renewal: Levy Lid Lift and Facility/Apparatus Bond

August 2019 Ballot

Message from the Chief:

I'd like to say thank you to the community members of Benton County Fire District #1 for their support!  We had two measures on the August ballot to renew our funding.

The first, a lid lift of our fire levy to keep it at a rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value is passing.  The second was a replacement bond for two that are paid off at $0.10/$1,000 AV (10% less than the previous two). Though it is receiving a majority of support (52.78%), it is falling short of the super-majority required to pass. 

Fire levies are for daily operations. Bonds are for capital expenses and major maintenance that protects the investments of our community. The Board of Fire Commissioners will be discussing next steps for this needed revenue. The fire levy lid lift will ensure that we can provide the same emergency response level. Thank you!

If you have any thoughts on this, please contact me (509-737-0911 x 5) or your elected Fire Commissioner. We'd like to hear from you! We're here to save lives and property, and we couldn't do it without your support.  Thank you very much.

Lonnie Click, Fire Chief

 

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BALLOTS DUE AUGUST 6, 2019

You've probably received your August 6 ballot by now! If you live in our fire district, you'll notice that we have two propositions on it - our fire levy is up for renewal (Prop. 1) and we have a replacement bond for two that are expiring (Prop. 2) on it. 

Proposition 1 will restore the fire levy rate to the previously approved rate of $1.50/$1,000 of assessed property value and hold it there for the next six years by adjusting up to 6% each year, if needed. The levy rate cannot exceed $1.50/$1,000 AV a year. The last time the same measure was approved was in 2013 and it has held our fire levy rate at or under $1.50 for the last six years. For example, if approved again and the rate were to fall to $1.47 in 2021, it would adjust to $1.50 (2% increase).

Proposition 2 is a bond that would to continue funding facility renovations and apparatus replacement. It would last for 20 years and be an estimated 10-cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. This is one cent less than the bonds it is replacing.

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Adequate funding is necessary to maintain emergency response capabilities as our community grows. Benton #1 funds daily operations through a fire levy of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which voters renew every six years. Capital projects – such as stations and apparatus replacement – are funded through voter-approved bonds. In the last two years, the fire district paid off two such bonds averaging 11 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. 
Emergency calls have increased 39% over the last five ten years. By 2037, unincorporated Benton County where we serve is projected to grow by 52%. 

Our levy and bond are up for renewal in 2019. The levy rate will remain the same and the bond rate will decrease.   Our fire levy is up for renewal at the previously approved rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The levy will last for six years and cannot exceed the $1.50/$1,000. The fire district also is asking citizens for a replacement bond to continue funding facility renovations and apparatus replacement. This bond would last for 20 years and be an estimated 10-cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. This is one cent less than the bonds it is replacing.
 

PUBLIC MEETINGS

Benton #1 will host two public meetings to provide information about the renewal of the levy and bond on the ballot and answer any questions.  The public is invited to attend!  If you're unable to, but would like more information, please contact Chief Lonnie Click (contact information below).
 

July 2, 2019  at 5:30 pm  (Station 120 – 30004 S. Finley Road, Kennewick, WA 99337)

July 16, 2019 at 5:30 pm (Station 140 – 7704 S. Bermuda Road, Kennewick, WA 99338)

NEWS

Benton County Fire District One levy and bond up for renewal - July 3, 2019 (NOTE: An earlier version of this story stated that it was the Finley Station to receive added living quarters, when in fact the need is at the Badger Canyon station.]

This Benton County fire district wants to make you safer. Here’s how that could happen - June 22, 2019

Meetings Scheduled for Renewal of Funding on Ballot   - June 26, 2019

New Commissioner for Benton County Fire District #1 - April 17, 2019

MORE INFORMATION 

Fire Chief Lonnie Click is available to answer any questions at (509) 737-0911 or