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Cascade Rural Fire Protection District levy fails

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The Cascade Rural Fire Protection District had hoped to pass a levy on the 2022 ballot to add more emergency resources for the community. However, the measure, which would have also increased property taxes, failed. 

The Valley County Elections Department’s live election results show 582 people voting against the levy and 509 people voting in favor. A supermajority of 66.7% would have been needed for the measure to pass. 

People living within the Cascade Rural Fire Protection District pay 50 cents per $1,000 assessed value. The district proposed an 83-cent increase, which would mean people within the district would pay $1.33 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The total increase in property taxes would have been about $600,000. It would have funded three additional firefighters/paramedics, three additional EMT/firefighters, a full-time deputy chief, and a full-time secretary.

The agency provides fire protection services to 110 square miles and contracts with Valley County for EMS services up to 1,300 square miles. 

Currently, Cascade Rural Fire Protection District employs a Fire Chief, EMS Director, part-time Secretary, 3 Paramedic/Firefighters, and 3 EMT/Firefighters, and 10 cross-trained volunteers.

“Over half of the volunteers and full-time personnel reside in the Treasure Valley, work 12 or 24-hour shifts and then return home.  These trained members are therefore unavailable for second callouts when more personnel are needed. We are a Fire taxing district separate from Valley County and the City of Cascade; this means we have a separate governing board of three, elected commissioners that oversee the Fire District,” a post earlier this year on the Cascade Fire Department Facebook page said. 

In response to the levy failing, Fire Chief Steven Hull said they are holding a commissioner meeting Thursday to discuss the next steps.

“Obviously I hoped that it would have passed but now I need to find out why it didn’t and what information the public needs to be in support when we try again.  We will continue to provide Fire and EMS services to the best of our abilities…We will keep educating the public on why we need more funding and we are also looking into a SAFER grant, Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, to try and bridge the gap until we can get the Levy to pass,” Hull told BoiseDev.

Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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