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South Bay Fire Department
2023 Levy Restoration Measure Information

Click here to see if your property is in our taxing District (Thurston County Fire Protection District

PROPOSITION 1

 

MANY THANKS TO OUR COMMUNITY! 

On August 1st, our community voted to approve Proposition 1, restoring our Fire Department’s levy rate. On behalf of

the District’s Board of Fire Commissioners, Fire Chief Brian VanCamp, and the entire team here at the South Bay Fire Department, we want to say THANK YOU for your support! These funds will help us continue to serve you the best we can with staffing as well as apparatus and equipment maintenance needs. We take pride in the service we provide as well as our transparency with our community-given resources.

2023 Levy Information Background (11 minute video)

(Written description of the 2023 Levy Information Background video)

New: June 22, 2023

2023 Levy Information - Public Meeting, June 21, 2023

(1 hour, 21 minutes)

June 16, 2023

 

(These six videos are approximately 1 minute in length)

Volunteers

Staffing

Challenges: Our Evolving Community

Proposition 1: Plan A - 2023

Proposition 1: Plan A - 2024

Taxation: How Your Fire District is Funded

June 7, 2023

2023 Levy Information Plans  (3 minute video)

May 25, 2023

Plan Options:

Current Status (2022):

  • Response staffing: 32 volunteer, 18 career

  • Staffing at two firestations: 88% of the time

  • Average response time: 7:17 m/s

  • Capital asset replacement: fully funded

  • Property tax levy: $1.20 per thousand AV

“Plan A” (2023-2027):

  • Response staffing: From 32 to 25 volunteer, from18 to career

  • Estimated staffing at two firestations: up to +99% of the time by 2026

  • Estimated average response time: 5:30 to 6:00 m/s by 2026

  • Capital asset replacement: fully funded

  • Estimated property tax levy:

    • 2024: $1.50 per thousand AV (2023 levy restoration)

    • 2025: $1.95 per thousand AV (2024 excess levy)

    • 2026: $1.90 per thousand AV

    • 2027: $1.85 per thousand AV

“Plan B” (2023-2027):

  • Response staffing: From 32 to 25 volunteer, from18 to career

  • Estimated staffing at two firestations: up to 90% of the time to 2026, possible decreases after 2026

  • Estimated average response time: 6:30 to 7:00 m/s by 2026, possible increases after 2026

  • Capital asset replacement: fully funded until 2026

  • Estimated property tax levy:

    • 2024: $1.50 per thousand AV (2023 levy restoration)

    • 2025: $1.62 per thousand AV (2024 excess levy)

    • 2026: $1.59 per thousand AV

    • 2027: $1.56 per thousand AV

“Plan C” (2023-2027):

  • Response staffing: From 32 to 25 volunteer, from18 to career, possible decreases after 2027

  • Estimated staffing at two firestations: up to 75% of the time by 2026, probable decreases after 2026

  • Estimated average response time: 8:00 to 8:30 m/s by 2026, probable increases after 2026

  • Capital asset replacement: not fully funded after 2024

  • Estimated property tax levy:

    • 2024: $1.50 per thousand AV (2023 levy restoration)

    • 2025: $1.47 per thousand AV

    • 2026: $1.45 per thousand AV

    • 2027: $1.42 per thousand AV

“Plan D” (2023-2027):

  • Response staffing: From 32 to 25 volunteer, from18 to career

  • Estimated staffing at two firestations: 0% of the time after 2025

  • Estimated average response time: 8:30 to 10:00 m/s or more

  • Capital asset replacement: not fully funded

  • Estimated property tax levy:

    • 2024: $1.11 per thousand AV

    • 2025: $1.02 per thousand AV

    • 2026: $0.95 per thousand AV

    • 2027: $0.81 per thousand AV

Estimated Costs of Options:  2023-2028 - Plan A

Estimated Costs of Options:  2023-2028 - Plan B

Estimated Costs of Options:  2023-2028 - Plan C

Estimated Costs of Options:  2023-2028 - Plan D

Estimated Costs of Options:  2023-2028 - Summary

Fire Protection District 8 - South Bay Resolution 23-004 - Submission of Levy (signed)

Fire Protection District 8 - South Bay Resolution 23-005 - Submission of Levy (signed)

May 16, 2023

Ballot Measure FAQ Brochure (May 16, 2023)

About Us

The South Bay Fire Department (Thurston County Fire Protection District 8), proudly provides firefighting, emergency medical services and community risk prevention to more than 13,000 people, over a 31-square mile area, including Johnson Point, Puget Beach, South Bay, Gull Harbor, Boston Harbor, Fish Trap, and Woodard Bay. We average 1,300 calls per year. The South Bay and North Olympia Fire Departments (merged in 2015) have been providing outstanding service since 1953.

 

We strive to save tax dollars by relying on a combination of exceptionally trained volunteers and full-time career staff to respond to emergency calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

We are governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners who meet monthly to monitor the status of the Department.

Staffing

Our primary goal is to provide a consistent and professional emergency response throughout the District; we strive to meet our Target Levels of Service regardless of the incident location within our District.  Our South Bay Station is located at 3506 Shincke Road NE and our North Olympia Station is located at 5046 Boston Harbor Road NE. We organize our staff to constantly provide fully qualified staffing round-the-clock , as much as feasible, at both our stations.

 

Community Education & Risk Reduction

The District regularly maintains on-going risk reduction programs that include: educational assemblies at our local schools; fire station tours and visits to local preschools.  You can visit our web site to find Fire Prevention tips and Emergency Preparedness information. We also offer helpful educational materials at our headquarters.

Saving $$$

Comparable Districts in our area have typically assessed a tax rate over $2.00 for many years.  We have been able to delay tax increases by having a robust volunteer program and stretching tax dollars by partnering with neighboring agencies for mutual aid and to share training and purchasing costs. Overall overhead and maintenance costs have been reduced with the surplus and sale of three unneeded fire station sites. Proceeds from the sales have been used to fund expenses at current levels without raising additional taxes over the last five years.

South Bay Fire District 8 Ballot Measure

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why Does the District need more money?

There are several reasons that the District is asking for additional funding, including:

  • Increasing call volume.

  • Fewer people now volunteer for firefighting requiring us to hire career firefighters to help staff firestations. 

  • Rising costs – over the last year, our costs for staff, services, and supplies have increased by over 8%. 

  • The statutory limitation for property tax revenue ($1.50 per thousand of assessed value) and the cap on levy increases (from 1%-6% for five subsequent years) don’t keep up with inflation and don’t provide sufficient funding for operations.

 

What do you plan to do with the extra money collected?

The District will use the additional funding to:

  • Maintain the District’s growing demand for career staff.

  • Provide sufficient funding for planned replacement of vehicles and equipment; and

  • Help pay for increasing costs of operations and ongoing maintenance of vehicles, equipment, and facilities.

 

How much will this cost a tax paying community member?

  • The current (2023) basic property tax levy rate is $1.20 per thousand of assessed value);

  • If approved by voters in 2023, the basic tax levy would cost homeowners an additional .30 cents per thousand of their assessed value in 2024 (a total of $1.50 per thousand of assessed value); and

  • If approved by voters in a separate ballot measure in 2024, an excess tax levy would cost homeowners an additional $0.45 per thousand of their assessed value in 2025 (a total of $1.95 per thousand of assessed value).

How will this improve your services?

  • In 2022, the District had 16 career responders and 32 volunteer responders.

  • As part of a five-year plan, the District would have 28 career responders and 25 volunteer responders by the year 2028.

  • The District’s current (2022) average response time is seven minutes and 17 seconds.

  • With voter approval of the proposed ballot measures, the District could implement the recommended staffing plan that provides an estimated reduction of average response time by about one and a half minutes.

 

Where can I get more information?

Public Meeting Handout - March 30, 2023 (May 16, 2023)

Public Meeting Presentation - March 30, 2023

Public Meeting Presentation - 2023 Levy Restoration Measure (Video 50 Minutes)

(Please note: The first 20 seconds are muted)

South Bay Fire District 8 - Proposition 1: 2023 Ballot Measure Levy FAQ (May 16, 2023)

Learn More About Us (May 16, 2023)

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