BONDS FOR FIRE DISTRICT FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT
QUESTION: Shall Clackamas County Fire District No. 1 be authorized to issue general obligation bonds to expand and improve its 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 may be passed only at an election with at least a 50 percent voter turnout. This measure authorizes the district to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not exceeding $9 million dollars to expand and upgrade its facilities.
If approved, the measure would provide funds to:
• Construct a new fire station to replace the Beavercreek station;
• Construct new fire stations to serve the Pleasant Valley and Mt. Scott communities;
• Acquire land for new stations and district facilities;
• Refurbish, upgrade and construct district fire stations, facilities and infrastructure as needed;
• Acquire additional emergency response vehicles;
• 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 and Beavercreek.
The district provides a wide range of services, including fire suppression, rescue services, fire prevention and emergency medical response. The Swift Water Rescue Team, Community Emergency Response Team, Volunteer Association and Fire and Emergency Services Foundation are among the district's other services.
One of Clackamas Fire District's top priorities is to plan for, site, purchase, and maintain the appropriate facilities, infrastructure and equipment required to provide these services. Based upon growth projections, it is recommended that the district constructs new facilities and purchase new equipment in order to continue delivering prompt and efficient service.
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 revenue reductions of more than 17% in fiscal year 1998-1999.
To manage this impact and maintain service levels while experiencing continuing growth, 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, acquire land for new fire stations and district facilities, purchase emergency response vehicles, and refurbish, improve and construct fire stations, facilities and infrastructure.
The items that would be funded include:
• Building a new fire station in Beavercreek to replace a 58-year-old facility.
The existing station is located on land polluted by a gas spill, has outgrown the capacity of its septic system and requires upgrades to meet safety guidelines.
• Building two new fire stations to serve Pleasant Valley and Mt. Scott respectively.
These fire stations are proposed to accommodate actual and projected growth in the Pleasant Valley and Mt. Scott communities, and would reduce response times once constructed.
• Acquiring land for new fire stations and facilities.
The district is working to site future stations in a manner that will continue system-wide efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
• Refurbishing, upgrading and constructing facilities and infrastructure.
A number of the district's older stations were constructed under old building code requirements. The district would make these building upgrades, and others, as needed.
• Acquiring new emergency response vehicles.
The district is in the process of upgrading its fleet and replacing older fire vehicles with newer equipment. The district will also be required to purchase equipment for use at the new fire stations.
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.
Chief Randy R. Bruegman,
Clackamas Fire District #1
No arguments FOR or AGAINST this measure were filed.