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Two county fire districts seek voter approval for levies

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By Rikki King
Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH -- Two Snohomish County fire districts are asking voters to approve levies in August for emergency medical services.
In Snohomish, the levy pays for two paramedics to be on shift in the district at most times, district commissioner Jim Schmoker said.
The levy first passed in 2007. Since then, sagging property values and rising labor costs have taken a toll, he said. The district has paramedic positions that have gone unfilled. The current levy expires Dec. 31.
If approved by voters, the new levy would draw 50 cents per $1,000 of property value, compared to 35 cents now. The owner of a $300,000 home would pay $150 per year.
If approved, the levy would bring in an estimated $1.4 million in 2014.
In recent months, the fire chief has been meeting with community groups and off-duty firefighters have been knocking on doors to talk up the levy and answer questions.
Without the levy, the district likely would see reduced paramedic services, Schmoker said. It likely would have to negotiate with surrounding fire departments for extra help.
Snohomish County Fire District 28 in Index also is asking voters to approve an emergency medical services levy of 25 cents per $1,000 of property value.
Both levies would last six years. The primary election is Aug. 6. Ballots continue to be mailed to voters this month.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449;
Story tags » IndexSnohomishFirefightingTaxesLocal elections

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