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Board of Fire Commissioners passes fire levy lid lift resolution - July 7, 2023

Measure to appear on the November general election ballot


The Walla Walla County Fire District 5 Board of Fire Commissioners passed a resolution to place a fire levy lid lift on the November 7, 2023, general election ballot. The lid lift would fund additional firefighters and station renovations to respond to the higher demand for emergency services.

Call volumes have increased 100 percent in the last 10 years. On average, the fire district responds to 700 calls per year – of which 65 percent are for emergency medical service (EMS). Additionally, overlapping calls – when two or more come in at the same time – happen 10 percent of the time.

“We require more firefighters and adequate facilities to meet the emergency service needs of our community,” Fire Chief Mike Wickstrom said.

If approved by voters, the fire levy lid lift will fund:

·       Up to four additional firefighters to respond to calls and reduce response times

·       Station 51 renovations to add sleeping quarters to accommodate more firefighters to allow for faster response times in the Charbonneau and Wallula areas

·       Renovations at the main station in Burbank to fit and protect modern fire engines and equipment

·       Upgrading diesel exhaust removal systems and decontamination areas to improve firefighter health and safety

The fire district has been able to operate efficiently for 30 years without having to raise its levy rate. This is no longer an option. The fire district is asking voters to change the fire levy from $1.14 per $1,000 of assessed property value to $1.38. The $0.24 lid lift would cost an owner of a $350,000 home an additional $84 per year or $7 per month.


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