Levy lid lifts will be on Washougal ballots Nov. 4

Propositions would pay for fire, EMS and public safety purposes

Washougal voters will be asked during this year’s General Election to approve two levy lift propositions.

One would be similar to a lid lift that was in place from 2007 through 2012, for fire and emergency medical services. The other lid lift proposal would pay for an additional police officer and other public safety enhancements.

Each proposition would be expected to bring in $144,000, and the cost would be 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The owners of a house assessed at $275,000 would pay $27.50 a year, per lid lift.

These are proposed to be six years each.

The resolution to put the fire and EMS levy lid lift on the ballot was approved 6-0, with Councilwoman Jennifer McDaniel absent.

Councilman Brent Boger abstained from voting on the resolution to put the public safety levy lid lift on the ballot. He said the issue needed more discussion.

Earlier during the council meeting, Boger expressed concern that the public safety measure could jeopardize passage of the fire and EMS levy lid lift.

Police Chief Ron Mitchell said there is a minimum staffing requirement of two officers on duty at all times.

“We need a third body,” he said.

“It would enhance our ability to provide coverage in the early morning hours,” Mitchell said later.

The Washougal Police Department has a mutual aid agreement with the Camas Police Department and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

The WPD is in the recruiting phase to hire a successor to Robert Ritchie, an officer who recently resigned.

There are 19 officers in the WPD. That includes the vacant position, Chief Mitchell and Cmdr. Allen Cook.