Fire levy is successful

For the first time in 17 years, voters in Fire District No. 38 approved a property tax increase to pay for fire protection.

Voters in the district, which includes the unincorporated areas surrounding North Bend and Snoqualmie, overwhelmingly approved a measure to restore the levy lid to $1 per $1,000 of assessed value. Since voters last approved a lid lift in 1990, the tax rate had dipped to 73 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

"I'm pretty pleased," said Dave Battey, chair of the citizen's group Save Our Fire Services that was formed last fall to support the levy. "It's gratifying to see the community step up. People really listened."

The measure passed with 66.1 percent of the ballots cast as of Feb. 12. It needed 50 percent to pass. Voter turnout was at 38 percent, with 2,544 of 6,702 registered voters participating.

Battey said he and other levy supporters were uncertain before the vote of how heavy support for the measure would be. He praised the other members of the levy support group for their efforts in getting the message out.

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