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City of Kirkland

Proposition No. 1

Levy Lid Lift for Fire and Emergency Medical Services and Facilities

 

The City Council of the City of Kirkland adopted Ordinance No. O-4731 concerning funding for fire and emergency medical services and facilities. This proposition would fund public safety, including stockpiling pandemic personal protective equipment, constructing a new fire station, seismically renovating existing stations, and hiring additional firefighters/EMTs to improve response times by increasing the City’s regular property tax by approximately $0.23513/$1,000 to a maximum rate of $1.22951/$1,000 assessed valuation for collection in 2021. The 2021 levy amount will be the basis to calculate subsequent levies, per RCW 84.55. Qualifying seniors, disabled veterans, and others would be exempt, per RCW 84.36.

 

Should this proposition be approved:

 

Yes

No


The City of Kirkland has proposed a ballot measure to improve fire protection, Emergency Medical Services and fire stations. If approved, this proposition would authorize an increase in the City’s regular property tax levy by approximately $0.23513/$1,000 of assessed valuation, to a maximum rate of $1.22951/$1,000, as allowed by Chapter 84.55 RCW.  The measure was developed by the Community Safety Advisory Group, made up of Kirkland residents and businesses. The measure would stockpile pandemic personal protective equipment, and hire approximately 20 additional full-time equivalent firefighter/Emergency Medical Technicians. It also upgrades public safety technology, facilities and equipment, funds additional operating, maintenance, vehicle and capital expenses to improve response times, and other public safety purposes. 

Increased revenues would fund fire protection, Emergency Medical Services and build a new fire station east of I-405 to improve response times in Kingsgate and Totem Lake. The measure also funds seismic renovation and modernization of existing fire stations 21 in Forbes Creek, 22 in Houghton and 26 in North Rose Hill. These investments will improve response times, keep fire stations seismically sound and support firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician health and safety.  Priorities and other details about the levy lid lift are described in City Ordinance O-4731.  

Approval of Proposition 1 would cost the owner of a median-valued $730,000 Kirkland home about $171 per year, or approximately $14.25 per month.  The levy amount collected in 2021 would be used to calculate subsequent levy limits.  Qualifying seniors, disabled veterans and others would be exempt, per Chapter 84.36 RCW.  
 

We support the levy as the most economical way to address current and future needs of Kirkland’s Fire Department/emergency medical services. (less than $15.00/month for a median-priced home) 

Last October, Kirkland recruited 35 residents to help decide the best way to improve our Fire/Emergency Medical Services. The Community Safety Advisory Group spent 6 months learning about government funding, firefighting, and emergency medical services. Their conclusion: the improvements financed by Prop1 are the minimum required to ensure the future safety of Kirkland’s residents.  

Only one of the existing fire stations meet critical seismic standards. Additional changes are needed to address health and safety problems to reduce firefighter’s exposure to carcinogens and pathogens.  These problems, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, challenge the Fire Department’s current service delivery model: seventy-five percent of calls are for EMTs and ambulance service, twenty-five percent respond to fires. Kirkland also needs an additional station East of I-405.
 
When your house is burning, when you have a heart attack, Fire/EMT service need to get there fast.  Approval of this levy will result in improved response times. Evidence shows a response within four minutes leads to better medical outcomes and decreased fire damage.  
 
We need to protect our first responders. We need to prepare for the next pandemic. We need to prevent first responder’s exposure to toxic chemicals.  We need to prevent our fire trucks being stuck in a station after an earthquake because the doors are jammed shut or the building has partially collapsed. We need to follow the Community Safety Advisory Group’s advice.  We need to pass this small levy increase.  We need to vote Yes on Prop1 to protect our community!

Bill Hoover, Stephanie Miller, Todd Pemble, SaferKirkland.org

No statement submitted.

Statements in favor of and in opposition to a ballot measure are submitted by committees appointed by the jurisdiction. The committee in opposition withdrew from the process to write a statement in opposition. If you would like to be involved with a committee in the future please contact the jurisdiction.

Simple Majority (RCW 84.55.050)

For questions about this measure, contact: Kevin Raymond, City Attorney,
(425) 587-3031, KRaymond@KirklandWA.gov

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