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Clark County Fire & Rescue: Proposed levy could save lives

(KATU File Photo)

As Clark County continues to grow year after year, so does the need for firefighters.

“District-wide our call volume has gone up 10 percent in the last two years. As units are crossing the district for calls, our response times are getting longer and longer,” Clark County Fire & Rescue Chief John Nohr said.

Some stations have seen a nearly 20 percent increase in call volume.

While other fire stations, like Charter Oak and Pioneer, have sat empty since budget cuts in 2009.

“Funding would be used in the first year to staff Fire Station 22 in Charter Oak, then also for station renovations,” Nohr said.

Nohr says he hopes voters pass the levy come Aug. 1.

“As a fire chief that very much loves this community, I would love to see the ability to respond to all areas of community quickly and efficiently,” he said.

He says the levy would allow them to do just that.

Right now there are four staffed stations covering calls across the 153 square miles of Clark County.

Voters we spoke with say the levy is a no-brainer.

“I think some people will balk at the nine cents or whatever it is, but responsible people will not shy away from it,” voter Michael Timmins said.

“It can save lives, it can save property, I don't think a few cents a month is anything compared to what they can do,” voter Charlotte Brown said.

The levy would raise property taxes $.09 per $1,000 of a home's value for district residents.

It's an increase Nohr says would benefit everyone.

“People across the district are going to see the benefit of this raise,” Nohr said.

Ahead of the Aug. 1 election, Clark County Fire & Rescue will be holding community meetings for anyone who might have questions about the proposed levy. The two meetings will be held at Station 21, 911 N. 65th Ave, Ridgefield, Washington from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on July 22 or 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on July 27.

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