Voters passing VRFA measure by wide margin

Voters in King and Pierce county rendered a crystal clear verdict on Valley Regional Fire Authority's Proposition 1 Tuesday night.

Yes, with little room for doubt.

In the combined results of both counties, voters in Auburn, Algona and Pacific were passing the measure by a wide margin of 75.65 to 24.35 percent, thus authorizing the VRFA to continue the present voter-authorized fire benefit charges each year for another six years as long as the amount does not exceed 60 percent of its operating budget.

The measure, in accord with state law, also prohibits the VRFA from imposing an additional property tax. The threshold for passage was 60 percent.

Eric Robertson, administrator of the VRFA, monitored the results alongside a handful of friends and associates at Odd Fellas Pub & Eatery on West Main.

"We've got great support in the community, and obviously we're very pleased that that support in the community shown through tonight," Robertson said. "We got our message out — it's not a new tax, and not a tax increase. It's obvious people wanted to sustain the excellent service they've been receiving through the VRFA.

"This gives us the opportunity not only to sustain what we have built over the past five years but to continue to build on that," " Robertson said. "Obviously, we love our community, and this this what I consider a report card."

Fire officials have said in the leadup to Tuesday's vote that failure of the measure would have blown a $5.5 million hole in the VRFA budget, leading to service cutbacks and possible layoffs.

"This doesn't create a big bow wave where we can go and do anything extravagant," Robertson said. "We will continue to provide excellent service and build upon the efficiencies made possible by regionalization. We will always try to reduce our response times. That's what it's all about."

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