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North County EMS puts levy on ballot

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Voters will have a chance this summer to decide whether they want to continue funding an expiring emergency medical services levy beyond 2010.

A North County Regional Fire Authority EMS levy measure will be on the Aug. 17 primary election ballot, according to officials.

If approved, the EMS levy would charge tax-payers $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed value to maintain current levels of service.

That proposed levy rate would charge a homeowner of a $300,000 home would pay $12.50 per month, or $150 per year, for emergency services.

“We have one of the largest service areas for a fire district in Snohomish County,” said authority Fire Chief Dale Fulfs. “This EMS levy makes sure that we can have fighters (and) paramedics ready to respond 24 hours a day at key locations within the 104 square miles that we serve.”

Fulfs said officials from North County Fire postponed its EMS levy renewal in 2009 because of economic concerns and the impact the levy would have on the community.

But the levy can’t wait any longer, he said.

“The current EMS levy will expire for half of our taxpayers at the end of 2010,” Fulfs said. “This renewal will unite everyone under the same EMS levy schedule and save taxpayer money on election costs.”

Emergency medical services levy funds are used to pay for firefighter and paramedic wages, training, supplies, apparatuses and support vehicles.

According to officials, 70 percent of all 911 calls to North County Regional Fire Authority/EMS are for emergency medical service.

North County serves more than 15,000 residents in the communities of Bryant, Freeborn and Warm Beach.

Arlington residents will also be voting on the Nov. 2 whether to approve an EMS levy ballot measure.

That levy would also charge tax-payers $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed value to maintain current levels of service.

Both levies require a 60 percent supermajority to pass.

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