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North Lincoln Fire and Rescue goes back to voters in second attempt to pass levy

Fire truck parked in front of fire station.
North Lincoln Fire and Rescue
North Lincoln Fire and Rescue is asking voters to approve a five-year tax levy during the November election.

Voters in one Lincoln County fire district have a familiar question on their ballots this fall: That’s because it’s the exact same tax levy that failed earlier this year.

In May, North Lincoln Fire and Rescue asked voters to extend and increase a five-year property tax levy. The measure failed by just 20 votes out of more than 34-hundred cast.

Even though the question is the same this time, Chief Rob Dahlman is hoping for a different result. He chalked up the spring outcome to poor voter outreach on the part of the district.

“We’re not asking to be overfunded," he said. "We’re not asking for the gold standard. We’re asking for an adequate amount of funding to maintain the fire services that we have here in Lincoln City.”

Dahlman said the increase in tax rates over their current levels is needed because call volume sets new records each year. "This year will be the busiest year ever," he said.

The district also wants to staff a fire station in the south end of Lincoln City that currently sits empty for most of the week.

No one filed any statements opposing Measure 21-204 in the voter's pamphlet. The proposed levy represents a 45 percent increase over the current levy, which expires in June of 2022. The district also have a permanent base rate that would not be affected by the passage or failure of the local option levy. The agency serves Lincoln City and some surrounding communities. It is an independent unit of government, separate from Lincoln City and Lincoln County.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”