QUESTION: Shall Clackamas County Fire District No. 1 be authorized to issue general obligation bonds to construct, refurbish and upgrade facilities? If the bonds are approved, they will be payable from taxes on property or property ownership that are not subject to the limits of section 11 and 11b, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution.
SUMMARY: This measure authorizes the district to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not exceeding $9 million dollars to construct, refurbish and upgrade its facilities, and to purchase emergency vehicles. If approved, the measure would provide funds to:
• Build three new fire stations to serve the Pleasant Valley, Mt. Scott and Beavercreek communities;
• Provide major refurbishments at the Redland, Happy Valley and Holcomb stations.
• Purchase new fire engines, ladder trucks and additional emergency response vehicles;
• Upgrade district fire stations, facilities and infrastructure as needed;
• Possibly acquire land for new stations and district facilities;
• Pay the costs of issuing the bonds
The bonds will mature over a period not exceeding fifteen (15) years from the date of issuance and may be issued in one or more series.
Clackamas Fire District #1 is one of the largest fire protection districts in Oregon, serving approximately 135,000 citizens in the cities of Milwaukie, Happy Valley, Johnson City and the unincorporated areas of Clackamas, Oak Lodge, Sunnyside, Redland, Carver, Beavercreek and Clarkes.
The district provides a wide range of services, including fire suppression, fire prevention, advanced life support, emergency medical response, Swift Water Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Community Emergency Response Teams and a comprehensive public education program.
One of Clackamas Fire District's top priorities is to plan for, site, build, and maintain the appropriate facilities, infrastructure and equipment required to provide these services. Prior to the passage of Measure 50, the district funded major capital items, such as fire stations and fire engines, out of its general fund and tax base. As a result of Measure 50, the District experienced a 15% reduction in the amount of taxes it could have levied beginning in the fiscal year 1997-1998.
To manage this impact and maintain service levels, Clackamas Fire District #1 is seeking voter authorization to issue general obligation bonds of up to $9 million dollars to fund new fire station construction, refurbish and upgrade fire facilities and infrastructure, purchase emergency response vehicles and possibly acquire land for new fire stations and facilities.
The items that would be funded include:
• Building three new fire stations to serve the Pleasant Valley, Mt. Scott and Beavercreek communities. The proposed Pleasant Valley and Mt. Scott fire stations will accommodate growth in those communities and would reduce response times to those areas once constructed. The Beavercreek station is proposed to replace a 58-year-old facility that no longer meets building code and other safety requirements.
• Providing major refurbishments at the Redland, Happy Valley and Holcomb stations, upgrading and constructing facilities and infrastructure as needed. The size of the Redland, Happy Valley and Holcomb stations provides insufficient space for emergency vehicles and limits the district's ability to provide a safe and productive work environment.
• Purchasing new emergency response vehicles. The district is in the process of replacing older vehicles, and will be required to purchase emergency vehicles for the new fire stations, including fire trucks, ladder trucks and
other emergency response vehicles.
• Acquiring land for new fire stations and facilities. The district is working to site future stations in a manner that will maintain system-wide efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
The proposed amount of the general obligation bonds will be repaid over a fifteen-year period. This will require an average increase of about $.09 (nine cents) per $1000 of assessed value over those fifteen years. The estimated average cost increase per $100,000 of assessed value would be about $9 per year.
This same measure appeared on the May 16, 2000 Primary Election ballot. The measure was approved by a majority of the voters, but was invalidated due a turnout of less than 50% of the registered voters within the district.
Chief Randy R. Bruegman
Clackamas Fire District #1
No arguments FOR or AGAINST this measure were filed.