Fire District 10 EMS levy headed for passage
Last updated 8/6/2020 at 10:24am
AIRWAY HEIGHTS – Spokane County Fire District 10 officials felt asking the public to support their Emergency Medical Service levy renewal in the midst of economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic was a gamble.
It was a gamble that paid off as the district’s levy was well on its way to passage at press time Tuesday night, Aug. 4. According primary results from Spokane County Elections Department, the levy was passing 67.21 percent to 32.79 percent with 1,299 of the 1,912 returned ballots as of Tuesday having been counted.
District 10 Deputy Chief Don Malone said he and others were “cautiously optimistic” heading into Tuesday, and very appreciative of voters support. The funding will enable the district to continue their EMS level of service and training while also making some needed equipment purchases such as a Lucas Device that automatically conducts chest compression.
“That frees up three firefighters on any fire call,” Malone said.
The renewed 10-year EMS levy will continue to impose a 50 cent rate per every $1,000 of assessed property value. According to information from the district, a West Plains home valued at $150,000 would be taxed at $75 per year or $6.25 a month. A $200,000 home would see a bill of $100 a year, $8.33 a month and a $250,000 home $125 a year or $10.42 a month.
The EMS levy makes up about 15 percent of the district’s $2 million annual operating budget, roughly $300,000. On the other side of the coin, EMS services account for 77 percent of the district’s 1,200-plus annual calls for service.
“It’s funded a couple firefighters for us,” Malone said.
Ballots will be counted throughout the week. The election will be certified on Aug. 18.
John McCallum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.