Levy Lid Lift
Thank You from Chief Michael Schick
November 8, 2017
On behalf of Camano Island Fire & Rescue, I would like to thank our community for supporting a recent fire levy lid lift request. This was a valuable experience for all of us to share. We had the chance to see just how involved our community is in its local fire department – and we loved it.
Questions were thoughtful, and I sincerely appreciated the time people took to reach out to me during this process and learn more. Thanks to community support, we will have adequate revenue to add emergency personnel to reduce response times, replace apparatus and maintain our facilities.
Again, thank you for the support. We look forward to reporting back on the progress we are making on service level improvements in the months ahead.
About the Fire Levy Lid Lift
The Board of Fire Commissioners for Camano Island Fire and Rescue asked voters to approve a 25-cent fire levy lid lift during the November 2017 General Election. Funding will be used to hire two firefighters to reduce response times, replace aging apparatus, and maintain facilities.
Call volumes have increased almost 29% in five years, and more growth is expected for the island. More calls mean added costs for personnel, apparatus, maintenance, fuel, equipment, and other supplies. In contrast, the Fire District is limited to a 1% revenue increase per year by state law. Revenue is not keeping up with the demand for emergency service in our community.
We have a plan to meet the increasing need for emergency services. We recently completed a Strategic Plan that identifies how we will meet the emergency service needs of our community over the next 10 years. Short-term, we need to add two firefighters during peak call hours to reduce response times and improve our ability to respond to multiple emergencies. Long-term, the plan calls for replacing aging apparatus (such as engines, ambulances and water tenders) that are past their usable lives and maintaining our facilities.
The last time voters approved a fire levy increase was in 2004 for $1.25 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The fire levy falls as property values rise, and it is now $1.10 per $1,000. CIF&R is asking voters to “lift the lid” on the fire levy to $1.35 per $1,000. This would cost the owner of a $350,000 home an additional $7.29 per month ($87.50 per year).
Emergency services on Camano Island are funded by two property tax levies: one for emergency medical service and another for fire suppression. The EMS levy was renewed by voters last year at 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. This levy rate cannot increase. In 2004 voters approved a fire levy rate of $1.25 per $1,000 which has fallen to $1.10 in 2017.
Informational Meetings Were Held:
- Station, 3651 South Camano Drive)
- Saturday, October 28, 10:00 a.m. (District Headquarters, 811 N. Sunrise Boulevard)
IN THE NEWS
Letter: CIFR levy increase necessary for firefighters and safety
Stanwood Camano News – October 11, 2017
Letter: Important levy increase on general election ballot
Stanwood Camano News – August 16, 2017
Camano fire to ask for levy lid lift in November
Stanwood Camano News – July 26, 2017
CIFR commissioners to discuss fire levy lid lift
Stanwood Camano News – June 23, 2017
Letter: Camano Island CPR training taught 782 to save lives
Herald – June 3, 2017
Learn hands-only CPR in 90 seconds — it could save a life
Fox 13 TV – May 24, 2017
Camano Island Fire and Rescue passes two state audits
Stanwood Camano News – March 28, 2017
Camano Island Fire and Rescue asks for help to continue serving community
EverettPost.com – February 27, 2017
Letter: Thanks to citizens who help Camano Fire & Rescue plan
Herald – March 6, 2017
CIFR to ask voters to raise levy lid
Stanwood Camano News – February 22, 2017
Camano fire district considering raising levy to pay for rising costs
Herald – January 2, 2017