129257 Fire & EMS Levy Lid Lifts Fire and EMS levy lid lifts on the April special election ballot Community invited to Q&A session to learn more Ashford, Wash. - Lewis County Fire District 17 (LCFD17) invites the community to learn more about the fire and EMS levy lid lifts that will be on the April 23, 2024 special election ballot. The purpose of the lid lift is to align tax rates with those of neighboring districts to prepare for a merger that would sustain emergency and fire services in Ashford (Lewis County). Learn more at a question-and-answer session on Sunday 10:00AM, March 10, 2024 at 136 Osborn Rd. Ashford, WA (Fire Station). Fire district commissioners will answer questions related to this meeting. LCFD17 currently serves under 800 homes and properties in Ashford. The community has changed significantly since the fire district was established in 1999. Once a community primarily comprised of families, many homes are now vacation homes and rentals. The district is no longer able to recruit volunteer firefighters from the community. Additionally, due to state law, increased property values have forced the district to collect a lower tax rate than voters approved in 2020. District17 has no EMS or fire staff, and district's equipment and structures are aging and will no longer be useable without future investments. To provide emergency medical services (EMS) and fire services to the community, LCFD17 contracts with Pierce County Fire District 23. This is not a permanent solution, nor does it ensure the community will receive these services in the future. To permanently guarantee EMS and fire services for the community, the district is pursuing a merger with Pierce County Fire District 23, but first must more closely align its tax rates with those of the other district. If approved by voters, Proposition 1 will change the fire levy rate from $0.59 to $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed property value. If approved by voters, Proposition 2 will change the emergency medical services levy rate from $0.30 to $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The increased rates were previously approved by voters in 2020. Fire District 17 commissioners: lewiscofire17@gmail.com P. O. Box 171, Ashford, WA Published: The Chronicle March 2, 2024

Posted 3/1/2024