Fire district levies passing

Voters in Snohomish County appear to have supported levies to allow three fire districts to draw additional tax revenues.

The fire districts serving Monroe, Silvana and Gold Bar each asked for maintenance and operations levies of varying amounts to keep their current levels of service.

Fire chiefs in those communities said they expected to make staffing and other cuts if the levies didn’t pass.

“We tried doing everything we could do to cut before we went to the taxpayers,” Monroe Fire Chief Jamie Silva said.

The county of ballots continued on Thursday, but the fire chiefs didn’t expect the levy results to change much. Election results don’t become official until they’re certified by the county and the Secretary of State later this month.

The additional money won’t solve all the budget problems, but it will ease the strain, Gold Bar Fire Chief Eric Andrews said.

“Even though it’s less money than we’ve ever had, I still hope we can keep our services going to the level they expect,” he said.

Fire crews in Silvana on Thursday were keeping a close eye on the tallies but feeling optimistic, Fire Chief Keith Strotz said.

The Monroe fire district plans to keep all of its fire stations open at current staffing levels, Silva said.

“We’re fortunate to have a very caring and supportive community,” he said.

Levies

• Snohomish County Fire District 3 in Monroe: A maintenance and operations levy to bring in $2.25 million per year for the next four years.

• Snohomish County Fire District 19 in Silvana: A maintenance and operations levy to bring in $190,000 each year for the next two years.

• Snohomish County Fire District 26 in Gold Bar: A maintenance and operations levy to bring in $150,000 every year for the next four years.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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