FIVE-YEAR LOCAL OPTION LEVY FOR GENERAL OPERATING PURPOSES
QUESTION: Shall Sauvie Island Volunteer R.F.P.D. #30JT impose $.46 per $1000. of assessed value for five years for operating purposes beginning 2005-06? This measure may cause property taxes to increase more than three percent.
SUMMARY: This measure may be passed only at an election with at least a fifty percent voter turnout. The taxes will be used for general operating purposes for Sauvie Island Volunteer R.F.P.D. #30JT. Anticipated uses include mandatory medical testing for all firefighters, required OSHA testing on equipment, and annual servicing and safety inspections of vehicles, including funds for equipment replacement. The rate is estimated to raise the following amounts: $55,201. in 2005-06; $56,857. in 2006-07; $58,563. in 2007-08; $60,320. in 2008-09; and $62,130. in 2009-10 for a total of $293,072.
The continuing mission of the Sauvie Island Volunteer Rural Fire Protection District #30J is to provide medical assistance and fire protection to the residents of Sauvie Island and mutual aid to Scappoose Fire Department and the Portland Fire Bureau. This mission requires passage of a Five Year Local Option Levy for general operating purposes.
After concluding that the District’s financial statements fairly represents in all material respects the District’s financial condition, the District’s Certified Public Accountant stated:
“The accompanying financial statements have been prepared assuming that the district will continue as a going concern. As discussed in Note 4 D to the financial statements, the District has suffered a decline in tax revenues and an increase in the cost of operations that raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern…”
The District borrowed $6000 to cover the cash carry-over shortfall from September to November 2004. The projected cash carry-over shortfall for fiscal year 2005-2006 is $15,000.
Many reasons have contributed to the increase in cost of operations. Fuel and natural gas prices, along with many basic utility costs, have increased dramatically. OSHA instituted requirements, including hearing tests and physical examinations for firefighters, have strained the current budget beyond its capability. Maintenance and equipment replacement continues to be an expensive line-item, and has been deferred except for critical safety items. Equipment needs to be on a replacement schedule, posing a major challenge for the District as a new fire engine costs approximately $250,000; more than double the current operating budget.
The above statements are but a few examples of the reasons for the Operation Levy. Detailed explanations and a synopsis of the District’s Budget will be available to residents of the District by mail, email, or at public meetings.
Without passage of this levy the District must face eliminating part of its services, ceasing operations, or attempting to merge with another District. The latter is not likely given the District’s low tax base.
No arguments AGAINST this measure were filed.
Measure No. 26-74 | Rural Fire Protection District #30JT (Sauvie Island)
ARGUMENT IN FAVOR
The Sauvie Island Volunteer Firefighter’s Association appreciates all of the support the residents of Sauvie Island have given us over the last few years. We continue to work hard providing support for all of the volunteer firefighters of Sauvie Island, however we need your continued support in this election.
The Sauvie Island Fire District #30JT has come to the conclusion that without additional revenue it will no longer be able to provide the same level of services, including both medical services and fire protection.
Through community fundraising and donations, the Firefighter’s Association has helped the District as much as possible, yet as prices for diesel and gasoline have increased over the last few years, so have the District’s costs for electricity, telephones, radio communications, insurance, and the paging system. Analyzing the last five years, the District anticipates this trend to continue and is forecasting ahead to be prepared.
The additional revenue from the levy will be used for mandatory medical testing of volunteers, required OSHA testing of equipment, annual servicing with safety inspections of vehicles, and funds for an equipment replacement schedule.
Do not hesitate to call or stop by and talk to any of our firefighters if you have any questions regarding the levy.
We hope you will join us in voting yes for Measure 26-74 so we can keep the Sauvie Island Volunteer R.F.P.D. #30JT a strong and viable Fire Department.
Sauvie Island Volunteer Firefighter’s Association
18342 NW Sauvie Island Road
Portland OR 97231