I want to post information about our Klickitat County Fire District3 Capitol Bond which we will vote on in the November 6 election. The key fire levy questions are answered briefly but there is more information on the website kcfd3.com
1. What is the bond money to be used for? All bond money will be used for purchase of safety equipment, upgrading the fire stations, and acquisition of new firefighting equipment.
2. If approved, how will the bond affect my taxes? The money borrowed from the sale of the bond will be repaid over 20 years by a levy on personal property. That will amount to about $11.98 per month for the average homeowner of a $350,000 house.
3. Why can’t capital projects be paid from the tax levy already in effect? Money raised through personal property taxes currently collected raises about $450,000 per year. 85% of this amounts needed to cover ongoing operating costs.
4. Why do the fire stations need such extensive repairs? Each of the fire stations are outdated for their current use.
5. Why does Fire District 3 respond to other emergencies in addition to fire calls? The fire district responds to all 911 calls, about 85% of which are for medical emergencies.
6. Does Fire District 3 have adequate staffing to provide optimum services? The district currently has an adequate number of dedicated volunteers to meet demands but constantly seeks additional volunteers.
7. How big is the service area protected by Fire District 3? The district is large and covers some 50 square miles accessed by a limited road network.
8. Does Fire District 3 have any current debts? Fire District 3 has never previously issued a bond. In 2016 it borrowed $150,000 in an emergency loan to replace the loss of an ambulance.
9. Where can I learn more about Fire District 3 and how it operates? Fire District 3 is a taxpayer-funded special benefit district. All meetings and operations are open to the public.
10. What will happen if the bond is not approved? The on-going need for replacement of existing equipment will not go away, and if not met soon, will only delay the inevitable need for more expensive repairs to the end of its service life.
The complete text and answers for the above questions can be found at kcfd3.com
Debbie Olson, Citizens Advisory Council