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FD 2 commissioners approve possible service cuts

July 17th, 2014 - 5:09am

(Port Angeles) Ė- Clallam County Fire District 2 Commissioners approved widespread reductions in service levels combined with fees for services if the Districtís proposed levy lid lift fails at the polls in November.

Raising the lid 29 cents per one-thousand dollars of assessed valuation would provide an estimated 278-thousand dollars annually to operate and maintain the fire districtís four fire stations and fleet of emergency response apparatus.

Included in the proposed cuts is the closure of two fire stations; one located in the Deer Park area on the East side of the fire district and the Black Diamond fire station located South of Port Angeles.

According to Chief Sam Phillips, District 2 has not passed an operating levy in over thirty years.

The district has had operating levies fail in 1983, 1994, 1996, 2003, and 2013.

Phillips says over the last thirty years the fire districtís operating budget has not kept pace with inflation.

The current tax rate is just under 78 cents per one-thousand dollars valuation, the lowest tax rate of any full service fire district in Clallam County and one of the lowest in the State of Washington.

Other service reductions include ceasing response to: burn complaints, smoke investigations (outside structures), no longer responding outside the fire district (except where aid agreements exist) this would include no more response to the unprotected Lake Dawn area.

In addition, modifications on how many units respond to 9-1-1 calls such as a fire alarm activations would be greatly reduced.

Closure of fire stations would have a drastic effect on the home owners cost of fire insurance in the Deer Park and Black Diamond areas.

One estimate is that fire insurance premiums would rise 31 percent and in some cases, Phillips warns homeowners would not be able to get fire insurance at all depending upon how far they lived from the nearest working fire station.

Clallam County Fire District 2 provides fire suppression and emergency medical service to 95-hundred people over 85 square miles outside the city of Port Angeles serving Deer Park, Gales Addition, Black Diamond, Dry Creek and Lake Sutherland.

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