by Richard Uhlhorn
The Chelan County Fire District No. 7 Commissioners held a special meeting on Wednesday, May 12, to discuss the decision to float a Levy Lid Lift to the District 7 residents.
Commissioner Karyl Oules began the discussion saying, “I still say yes, we need one, but I’m leaning towards Spring.” She stated that she is still getting questions from voters asking just what they are going to get.
Chief Mark Donnell stated that the Levy Lid Lift would allow the District to hire three new firefighters, save $XXX each year for new apparatus, maintain the seasonal fire fighters, help with capital projects and maintain funding levels.
Commissioner Russ Jones emphatically stated that the District has no plans to build new stations. “We are working with a very conservative number,” he said. The proposal is to float a $1.10 per thousand levy.
Chairman Phil Moller added that 17 residents sat on a committee to help make the decision. “It was pretty clear that we need to do this. The question is when?”
Donnell stated that the group of 17 committee members was a good representation of the community. “We have a tremendous amount of momentum.” Moller asked Donnell what part of the discussion he didn’t understand? Donnell replied running the levy in the Fall of Spring.
Moller stated that he wants it run the levy in November and Chief Donnell told the commission that they had to get on the November ballot by August 3.
Commissioner Russ Jones also favors November as a time to go to the voters. If the District waited until Spring they wouldn’t see any money until 2023. “I believe the assessment will be greater than what we are anticipating,” said Jones. “If we waited a year there is a lot of uncertainty with the economy and disruption.”
Oules said she was good to go for the fall election and is in agreement that the District needs to go to the voters in November. “We need to run an effective campaign,” she stated
Moller stated that if the campaign begins now, they have five months to educate the District residents of the need for more money. “If we waited until spring I think we would lose momentum.”
Oules said failure was not something in her wheelhouse.
The Levy being proposed would be for 10 years and the commission believes the time period is sustainable.
A final decision to run the levy in November will take place at the Commission’s meeting in June.
The next meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on May 19.