Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | South Whidbey fire levy is not new

To the editor:

I am writing to respond to questions that we are receiving from the community about our 15 cent levy lid lift to restore funding for our volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician program.

First, this is not a new levy. South Whidbey Fire/EMS has had a fire levy in place since the fire district was founded in 1950. Our current levy rate of 61 cents per $1,000 is almost as low as it was in 1989 before voters approved a lid lift to $1 of assessed value. We couldn’t sustain emergency service levels back then, and can’t continue to do it now, which is why it is on your ballot. This would be the first voter-approved increase in 23 years.

Second, our lid lift is different than the levy for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) that voters passed in August. The EMS levy was for the hospital district to fund ambulances and paramedics. Our fire levy funds fire suppression and basic emergency medical care, which stabilizes patients until an ambulance arrives.

Please visit our website to learn more about our lid lift at www.icfd3.org/levy-info or contact me personally at chief@icfd3.org or 321-1533. Thank you for your consideration.

H.L. “Rusty” Palmer, Fire Chief

South Whidbey Fire/EMS

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