QUILCENE — The Quilcene Fire Department chief is excited about the overwhelming support voters showed for the replacement Emergency Services Levy.
Voters have approved the renewal of the EMS levy for Quilcene Fire Rescue that was on Tuesday’s primary election ballot with 81.45 percent — 483 votes — in favor and 18.55 percent — 110 votes — against.
The measure needed only a simple majority of 50 percent to pass.
“We’re are just ecstatic about the response from our citizens,” Fire Chief Tim McKern said Wednesday. “It’s more than I expected. That is just amazing.
“I think the citizens liked the service they’ve been getting and will continue to get, and they want to continue with the service levels. So that’s awesome. That’s all I can say, it’s awesome,” he continued.
“I thank them, thank them, thank them for their support and continued support.”
The Quilcene Fire Rescue levy is a six-year renewal of the current property tax levy of 50 cents or less per $1,000 of assessed property value, which will take effect in 2023, after the current levy expires.
The six-year levy brings in about $500,000 to the district. It funds three full-time emergency medical technician (EMT) positions.
Having paid staff is crucial for a small fire department because volunteer staff is more difficult to recruit and the volunteers have more time constraints then in previous years, McKern said.
The district used the primary election as a special election instead of waiting for the general election.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]