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Mountain View Fire & Rescue Board of Commissioners to Vote on Levy Tuesday

Declining revenues have spurred district leaders to consider going to the public for a levy in order to maintain current service levels.

King County Fire District No. 44, also known as Mountain View Fire and Rescue which provides services to large areas of unincorporated King County including parts of Auburn, Enumclaw and Black Diamond, has been grappling with declining revenues for the last few years to the point that its Board of Commissioners this year is looking to ask the public to approve a levy in order to sustain current service levels.

According to this press release, the proposed levy would not replace the loss of funds or staffing seen over the last several years, but would provide enough funding to prevent further cuts, to include reductions in career firefighters or closing of fire stations.

"We have seen a loss of 1.2 million dollars over the last several years, seeing another reduction for 2013 of $ 283,686", said Chief Greg Smith. "We have reduced the budget and augmented operations through the use of emergency operating funds, reduced our support and admin staff by five positions and not replaced a vacant firefighter position, it's gotten to the point that we will be required to make some significant reductions and these will impact our ability to provide emergency services, these are cuts we have tried to fend off, this is our mission we are talking about, what we are here for."

Wages for the chief, staff and support personnel have not increase for the last few year with both the Chief and Deputy Chief turning down wage increases.

The Board invited the public to its meeting on Feb. 12 where it discussed the levy proposal and hoped to hear from taxpayers about what levels of service they were willing to pay for. It is expected to act on the proposal during its meeting tonight, Feb. 26, and again the public is invited to share their opinions and weigh in. If the proposal moves forward, the question of the levy will be placed on the April special election ballot.

Board meetings take place at the District headquarters station 32316 148th AVE SE, Auburn. Meetings take place at 6:30 p.m. and the public is encouraged to attend.

Chief Smith February 26, 2013 at 08:36 PM
April Thanks for the story. We cover an area of 70 square miles, citizens think of themselves in Enumclaw, Black Diamond, Kent, Covington and Auburn. Most of these are covered by their own paper and only weekly. It can cost the District over $ 5,000.00 dollars to send out mailers, in light of the current economic realities, that is not financially feasible. A good way for a property owner to find out who their Fire Department is, is to look on your property tax statement, or log on to the KC Parcel View or Imap and look up your property. If the Board approves this Levy, it will be in the voters’ pamphlet. You can also visit www.KCFD44.org; we will keep it updated regarding the proposed Levy. The District has posted the last six years of State Financial Audits on our Web site. Our main goal is to let our Citizens decide on the level of Fire and Emergency Medical Service they want. This Levy would allow us to continue to provide the current level of service. The Board wants to hear from the Citizens before they are required to make further cuts to the budget that will impact service levels. Fire District’s typically are about 4% of a person’s property Tax. Here are links to Parcel View and Imap. http://www.kingcounty.gov/operations/GIS/PropResearch/ParcelViewer.aspx http://www.kingcounty.gov/operations/GIS/Maps/iMAP.aspx

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