Operating levy for Upper McKenzie Fire District on the ballot for renewal
The Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Protection District is asking voters to re-new a 5-year local levy for fire and emergency medical services.
The ballot measure notice says the local tax would enable the rural fire department “to continue to provide quality EMS and fire suppression services to the community.” The funding would help pay for medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, and training.
Mike Godfrey is Board Chair for the fire district. He said the last operating levy passed by a 70% margin. “People know all the volunteers and they know that the volunteers are giving up their weekends to train. They know what happened when the Holiday fire arrived- and the volunteers worked on saving lives instead of worrying about their own homes which were burning.”
The levy would be 50 cents per $1,000 home valuation over five years-- beginning in fiscal year 2023/24.
To find your home's assessed value, go to bit.ly/lane-county-easy-property-lookup
The Upper McKenzie Rural Fire department responds to about 350 calls each year, although Godfrey said calls increased by 20% last year. The majority are for medical emergencies, but the district also responds to vehicle accidents, wilderness rescues and wildland fires.
The agency services parts of the McKenzie River Valley, including the communities of Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge. The district also includes the McKenzie Highway, the Clear Lake Cut-Off Highway to the Santiam Junction and all of the Old McKenzie Highway.
Much of the district burned during the Holiday Farm Fire on Labor Day 2020.