Washougal residents to vote on EMS levy

Six-year replacement levy will not involve an increase

Washougal voters will soon be asked to approve a six-year replacement emergency medical services levy.

Ballots, which are expected to arrive in local mailboxes later this week, will need to be postmarked no later than Tuesday, Aug. 17.

If the levy is approved, the current tax rate of 50 cents per $1,000 assessed property value will not increase.

“The levy will not cost homeowners any additional tax since it is simply a renewal of an existing levy for another six years to maintain EMS service within Washougal,” said Camas Fire Capt. Kevin Bergstrom.

As president of the Camas/Washougal Professional Firefighters Local 2444, he represents firefighters in Camas and Washougal.

The levy, which will require a 60 percent ‘yes’ vote to pass, will cost the owner of a home assessed at $150,000, $6.25 per month. The owner of a home assessed at $250,000 would pay $10.41. Since it is not a new tax, it replaces a levy approved in 2004.

The current EMS levy provides for paramedic ambulance service for Washougal residents. It also pays the salaries of two firefighters. The department operates with a minimum staffing level of two firefighters on duty. The levy also provides money for emergency medical training for all WFD personnel.

If the levy does not pass, Bergstrom said there is the potential that there would be no ambulance serving any portion of Washougal.

“The voters could have a second attempt to pass the levy during the General Election cycle in November, but that is not an ideal situation,” he added. “We feel that this is a simple renewal of a longtime existing levy, and there are more than enough reasons for the voters to pass the levy.”

Individuals can register to vote through Friday, Aug. 6, at the Clark County Elections Office, 1408 Franklin St., Vancouver.

For more information, call 397-2345 or visit www.clark.wa.gov/elections.

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