ELECTION — Brinnon fire levy leading by nearly 20%

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

BRINNON — Jefferson County Fire District No. 4's levy lid lift was passing with a comfortable margin after the first round of primary returns Tuesday.

There were 302 yes votes, or 59.57 percent, and 205 no votes, or 40.43 percent, out of a total of 407 votes counted.

The current measure requires a simple majority of 50 percent to pass.

A total of 300 ballots from points throughout the county — not just Brinnon — were on hand but uncounted Tuesday.

Auditor Donna Eldridge said she expects about 2,000 ballots to come in by mail this week and predicts a total turnout of 55 percent to 57 percent.

The next count will be by noon Friday.

Brinnon fire district officials have said that the levy lid lift is necessary to fund repairs of its three worn fire engines and complete repairs to fire stations.

The current levy rate is 73 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

If the levy passes, the rate would be raised by 52 cents to $1.25.

That translates to an increase of $103.56 per year of tax on a $200,000 property.

Tuesday's levy vote marked the third attempt to update the levy for repairs or replacement, including a failed levy in November 2014.

A total of 581 people voted in last November's election, which defeated a levy lid request by 55.08 percent to 44.92 percent.

There are more than 900 voters registered in Brinnon's fire protection district.

The neighboring Quilcene Fire Department is facing similar issues and is expected to schedule a levy lid lift request on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 05. 2014 10:39PM
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