Spokane Valley Fire commissioners took the “better safe than sorry” approach on Monday.
At their regular meeting, the fire commissioners unanimously agreed to adopt a resolution that would put a three-year levy request before voters on Nov. 6 if the primary vote fails in August.
In order to get the question on the Nov. 6 ballot, the resolution needs to be submitted to the county by Aug. 7, the day of the primary. Since the commissioners won’t meet again until Aug. 13, and that the election results wouldn’t be made known in time, fire officials decided they had no choice but to act now.
The fire department will have the option of removing the question from the ballot should the primary election pass.
Spokane Valley Fire is seeking approval of a three-year maintenance-and-operations levy to cover 2013-15. The replacement levy will have the same $1.70 per $1,000 in assessed value rate that is currently in effect and expected to raise $16.4 million each year.
In 2009, the last time the department asked for levy approval, the voter returns were nearly 69 percent. A 60-percent supermajority is necessary for the levy to pass.
The levy, which represents approximately 53 percent of the department’s operating budget, will maintain existing programs and services with nothing new added. With the current existing economic conditions, the levy will not be used for new construction or replacement of apparatus.