Clean Audit and Insurance Rating Improvement for Clark County Fire District 6
Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Fire District 6 passed its most recent independent audits for financial and accountability practices. The reports can be found on the Washington State Auditors public website at www.sao.wa.gov/reports-data/audit-reports.
All local governments are required to be audited by the state. These assessments are done to ensure that the use of taxpayer resources comply with state and federal laws.
“It’s important that our taxpayers know we are good stewards of their tax dollars. We take this responsibility seriously and the audit results reflects that,” said Chief Kristan Maurer. “These sound financial practices have helped us improve service for the communities we serve, as well.”
The clean audit happened as Fire District 6 also improved its Protection Class rating. A Protection Class rating is based on a fire district’s emergency service capabilities, such as the number of personnel and training programs it has, the age and type of apparatus it uses, and the quality of its stations. This rating is directly linked to the amount home and business owners pay in insurance premiums. The better the rating, the more home and business owners save on their insurance.
Protection Class ratings are issued by the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau and range from 10 to 1. The lower the number, the better the rating. Clark County Fire District 6 improved its Protection Class rating from a 4 to a 3 in its recent assessment.
“Our taxpayers have made a significant investment in emergency services in Fire District 6,” said Chief Maurer. “This enabled us to make improvements that led to a better rating and insurance savings for our community.”
Call volumes have increased 13 percent in the last year, and more improvements are needed. That’s why Fire District 6 is asking voters to consider a Fire Levy lid lift during the August 4 Primary Election. If approved by voters, funding would be used to hire additional personnel and improve training programs. Some funding would be used to add or replace emergency apparatus, and earthquake-proof the Fire District’s busiest station in Hazel Dell.
Chief Maurer says that priority one for the lid lift is to improve emergency services to save lives and property. These investments also are important to maintain the Fire District’s Protection Class rating.
The lid lift would return the Fire Levy from $1.16 to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Voters in Fire District 6 last approved a Fire Levy lid lift back to $1.50 per $1,000 in 2015. Levy rates fall as property values rise to limit a fire district to roughly the same amount of revenue per year.
If approved by voters in August, the lid lift would take effect in 2021. More information about the Fire Levy lid lift can be found at www.ccfd6.org. Chief Kristan Maurer also is available to answer questions at (360) 576-1195 or email@example.com.
Clark County Fire District 6 provides fire protection and emergency medical service to 70,000 people over 37 square miles. Our service area includes the unincorporated communities of Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Felida, Mt. Vista, the Fairgrounds, and Lake Shore. Our emergency personnel responded to 8,800 calls last year with compassion, care and professionalism. Fire District 6 operates under a balanced budget and has passed all its independent audits by the state.
Clark County Fire District 6 is asking voters to return the Fire Levy to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value during the August 4, 2020 Primary Election.
Why is my fire district asking for this?
Call volumes have increased almost 30% in five years – 12.9% alone in the past year. More calls mean added costs to provide service. Voters last approved a Fire Levy of $1.50/$1,000 in 2015. Since then, our Fire Levy has fallen from $1.50 to $1.16 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
A Fire Levy “lid lift” helps us keep up with higher call volumes and the increase in demand for service..
How will the funding be used?
If approved by voters, revenue from the Fire Levy lid lift would fund additional personnel to respond to higher call volumes and pay some costs associated with COVID-19. Funding also will be used to improve firefighter training, earthquake-proof our busiest station in Hazel Dell, and add or replace aging apparatus.
Is this related to COVID-19?
Our fire district has been educating the community about the need for additional funding prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. These communication efforts are well-documented on our website. However, the funding request is timely considering higher costs associated with the recent pandemic.
How much will the lid lift cost?
The 34-cent lid lift would cost the owner of a $350,000 home (an average for our area) approximately $9.92 per month or $119 per year. If approved by voters, the new property tax rate would start in 2021. Here’s a chart to help:
Assessed Property Value
Where can I find more information?
Fire Chief Kristan Maurer welcomes invitations to speak (virtually) to local service organizations, community groups, and homeowner associations. She can provide an overview of the Fire District, and update on emergency response in our service area, and share information about the fire levy lid lift request. Please contact Chief Maurer at (360) 576-1195 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for considering our request.
Do you belong to a service organization, community group or homeowner association that is looking for virtual speakers? Fire Chief Kristan Maurer welcomes invitations to provide an overview of the Fire District, an update on emergency response in our service area, and share information about the fire levy lid lift request. Please contact Chief Maurer at (360) 576-1195 or email@example.com if you’re interested in scheduling a presentation.