Northwest NEWS

October 19, 1998

Valley Special

Duvall-King County Fire District 45 asks for levy lid lift

   DUVALL--Fire District 45 will be asking voters to approve a levy lid lift on Nov. 3 to pay for safety improvements and equipment.
   The lid lift will raise the regular fire district levy rate 31 cents, from $1.19 to $1.50 per $1,000 assessed value.
   If approved, the owner of a $200,000 home would pay an extra $62 per year.
   According to Fire Chief Bud Backer, the fire district is a "combination" fire department that relies on 28 volunteers and six career personnel to deliver emergency services to the city of Duvall and surrounding area.
   Backer said that growth, mainly in the city, has resulted in an increase in the number of emergency responses.
   The fire district protects 52 square miles and a population of approximately 13,000 residents.
   Raising the levy lid to $1.50 will affect only those taxes collected in 1999. In subsequent years, the levy rate will decrease as assessed value increases in order to limit the amount of tax growth as required by state law, Backer said.
   The fire district has not raised the levy rate since 1987. A bond issue was passed in 1990 that purchased new fire engines, an aid car, rescue truck, command unit, remodel of the headquarters station and built a training center. This bond will be paid off in 2000.
   Backer said that with increasing federal and state regulations in the areas of firefighter safety, money is needed to increase staffing.
   The additional staffing will be in the form of one career firefighter and a reserve/resident program. Backer said funds will also be used to prepare for the replacement of life saving equipment such as defibrillators and added that fire equipment such as self-contained breathing apparatus (air packs) and radios will also be due for replacement soon.
   Approximately $96,000 will be needed to replace the breathing apparatus, and $144,000 will be needed to replace radios, he said.