VRFA puts measure on Feb. 13 special election ballot

  • Wednesday, January 10, 2018 2:10pm
  • News

For the Reporter

As it must do every six years, the Valley Regional Fire Authority’s (VRFA) Board of Governance has called for an election to re-authorize its use of the Fire Benefit Charge (FBC) to fund the operations of the regional fire authority, which serves the cities of Algona, Auburn and Pacific.

The measure will be on the Feb. 13 special election ballot.

“This funding model has been critical to establishing stable funding, which has improved response times and service levels for fire protection, emergency medical aid calls, training of personnel and the purchase of necessary equipment,” said Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, chair of the VRFA board. “The improvements and investments have garnered the VRFA a better fire protection grade, which equates to lower fire insurance rates for many of our residents and businesses.”

In 2006, voters from the three cities approved the FBC by a super majority of nearly 70 percent, and renewed its use in 2012 with 76 percent approval. Ever since 2008, the FBC has supported about 44 to 48 percent of the VRFA operating budget. State law requires approval to continue the use of the FBC funding model while it prohibits imposing an additional property tax of 50 cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value for fire protection services otherwise allowed by law.

“The FBC is based on the type of occupancy — residential or commercial— and square footage, which is an assessment of the cost of providing fire protection services to a particular building,” explained Eric Robertson, VRFA administrator. “We have maintained the FBC well below 60 percent of the operating budget cap while fully funding the fire, rescue and emergency medical services to the community.”

Each year, the board of governance reviews the FBC to ensure fiscal responsibility of the funding for the coming year. The law allows discounts for senior citizens and for buildings with approved fire sprinkler systems. Property owners may appeal their assessments.

More in News

Show of color: a benefit for Auburn school

Community embraces Run2Educate Color Run at Buena Vista Seventh-day Adventist School

Auburn Valley YMCA hosts Healthy Kids Day

Event encourages kids to stay active and keep learning all summer long

Auburn goes to work in Clean Sweep

Community-wide volunteer effort focuses on major cleanup

Auburn School Board recognizes outstanding staff member | Briefs

The Auburn School District Board of Directors recently recognized Lila Jenkins, office… Continue reading

Stober resigns as communications director for King County assessor

King County Democrats chair to receive $37,700 settlement

Demolition day to mark launch of major renovation to Highline College building

School making more room for more students in health and wellness careers

Auburn School District Teachers of the Year

Erie, Sherer and Harvey to be honored May 14

Housing in Auburn is one area City officials are assessing as the community looks to the future. FILE PHOTO
Incentives: Which are a good fit for Auburn?

City looking at economic development ideas that may benefit community

All Home board members meet in Seattle on April 23 to talk about its structure. Photo by Josh Kelety
The never-ending search for an effective King County homeless plan

While All Home attempts to address the issue, the group’s lack of actual power results in little change.

Most Read