Clackamas Fire Board Unanimously Votes to Place Levy on May Ballot

The Clackamas Fire District Board of Directors on Monday night voted unanimously to refer a five-year emergency services levy to voters on the May 2023 ballot.

District officials told the board the levy reflects the community’s needs based on increased wildfire risk, a growing county population and the effort to implement national best practices. If passed, the levy would fund 62 additional firefighters, directly address increased wildfire risk, and invest in quick-response vehicles.

“I am grateful to the Board of Directors for their support and willingness to refer this important levy to the May 2023 ballot,” said Clackamas Fire Chief Nick Browne. “This levy will allow Clackamas Fire District to hire more firefighters, fight wildfires, and invest in equipment that will improve response times.”

Officials pointed to a survey conducted in November by DHM Research, which showed districtwide support for the proposed levy after voters learned what it would fund.

“The chief and members of the leadership team have done their due diligence to ensure this is a robust, safety-driven levy,” said Director Chris Hawes, who participated in developing the levy. “It’s clear everyone has made a concerted effort to evaluate Clackamas Fire District’s future needs, conduct community outreach, and ensure that the levy remains affordable.”

If passed, the five-year emergency services levy would provide annual funding of $14.5 million at a cost of 52 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuatio— the equivalent of about $138 per year for the average Clackamas Fire District homeowner.

Officials said levy funds would be used to hire additional firefighters and first responders in all parts of the district to help prevent dangerous wildfires from spreading and ensure fast responses to medical emergencies.

Clackamas Fire District conducted extensive community engagement and outreach efforts over the last three months, including three community forums and an open house, where district leaders spoke to hundreds about the proposed levy.

Clackamas Fire District also conducted a community survey that evaluated priorities and asked for comments about the potential levy, with the intent to provide all community members the opportunity to provide feedback.

To learn more about the proposed levy, visit the Clackamas Fire District website.

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