Fire district tax increase considered

Fire district commissioners will be considering several options for the 2017 budget at their next meeting in November.  The various budget proposals will range from calling for no increase in the tax the district collects from local taxpayers to others that will require taking the first increase since voters approved doubling the levy in 2010.

At their October 14 meeting, fire chief Chris Carleton reminded commissioners that the district was allowed an annual 1 percent increase, which can be “banked” for up to five years.

“We have 4 percent banked right now and can take an additional 1 percent plus new construction,” chief Christopher Carleton said. “You’ll have multiple resolutions to discuss.”

Carleton said substantial expenditures next year will include $4,800 for rental of space on the Whidbey Telecom tower to improve communications with dispatch, $10,000 for an anticipated state audit and the possibility the district will have to pay $180,000 to replace breathing apparatus, which Carleton hopes will be offset by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“They are over 10 years old and two safety cycles behind standards,” Carleton said.

The November meeting of fire district commissioners will be held Tuesday, November 10 at 4 p.m. rather than at their regular meeting time to accommodate
Veterans Day.

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