Clark Co. Fire Dist. 3
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News Releases
Fire District 3 Seeks Volunteers for Committee to Write Statements For, Against Annexation of Battle Ground Residents - 11/15/19

Fire District 3 is seeking volunteers to serve on “for” and “against” committees related to the February 2020 ballot measure that will ask voters if the City should be annexed to be part of Fire District 3.

Appointed committee member will write for or against statements for submission to the Clark County Elections Office.  The statements will appear in the February 11, 2020, Special Election Voters’ Online Guide.  For information about election regulations and the responsibility of committee members, see the Clark County Elections Department Election Guide for Jurisdictions.

Eligible Fire District 3 committee members must reside within the district boundaries. An application to apply for either committee is available online at www.fire3.org/annexation-information or at Fire District 3, Station 31 at 17718 NE 159th Street in Brush Prairie.  Applications are due by November 21 at 5:00 pm.

Information about Fire and Emergency Medical Services and annexation is available at www.fire3.org/annexation-information.

City Manager and Fire Chief Welcome Invites to Talk About Annexation - 11/15/19

Proposal Will Be on February 11, 2020 Special Election Ballot

BATTLE GROUND & BRUSH PRAIRIE, WA— The city of Battle Ground and Clark County Fire District 3 have passed motions to place annexation on the February 11, 2020 Special Election ballot. The proposal would allow the City to annex to the Fire District, and must be approved by voters in both jurisdictions to take effect.

City Manager Erin Erdman and Fire Chief Scott Sorenson are looking for opportunities to speak to community service organizations about the proposal. The duo has prepared a brief presentation, and looks forward to answering questions.

“Annexation guarantees quality emergency services that City residents and businesses have come to expect,” said Erdman. “It also would help the City fund other public services community members want, such as police, roads, and parks.”

Battle Ground is the only city in the area that contracts for emergency services. The current contract rate equates to $1.35 of the City’s $1.37 per $1,000 of assessed value general property tax levy. The emergency services contract is expected to exceed this amount in 2021, and services would have to be cut for the City to maintain a balanced budget.

“Protecting the level and quality of emergency services is critical as our communities grow,” said Chief Sorenson. “Annexation also would allow us to plan long-term for emergency service needs on a regional basis.”

The current partnership allows for additional units to respond from all fire stations during back-to-back emergency calls. It has allowed for improved training, fire marshal and fire prevention services, and contributes to the strong insurance rating for both communities, which is linked to how much home and business owners pay in premiums.

However, the contract is short-term by nature which prevents the Fire District from investing in capital items on a regional basis. The City is unable to fund these items such as stations and apparatus on its own. The Fire District is in the process of finalizing a Strategic Plan to serve the region for the next five years and is struggling with the process.

“The City and Fire District are neighbors. It doesn’t make sense for us to develop a plan for capital items like stations and fire engines without including City residents and businesses,” said Chief Sorenson. “It’s uneconomic, short-sighted and would do a disservice to both communities. For these reasons, our strategic plan calls for annexation and everyone paying their fair share to maintain quality emergency services that save lives and property.”

All property owners would pay the same fire levy rate which is projected to be $1.30 per $1,000 of assessed value at the time annexation takes effect. City residents also would be able to vote on fire district issues such as commissioners, levies, and bonds, which they currently can’t do.

If annexation is approved, Battle Ground would reduce its utility tax by 46 percent for water, sewer and stormwater for City property owners and renters to help offset the cost of the fire levy. The remaining revenue would provide a list of improvements for City residents that can be found on its website at https://www.cityofbg.org/470/Fire-Emergency-Medical-Services.

Schedule City Manager Erdman and Fire Chief Sorenson for an upcoming meeting of your organization. Contact Chief Scott Sorenson at scott@fire3.org or (360) 892-2331. City Manager Erin Erdman can be reached at in.erdman@cityofbg.org">erin.erdman@cityofbg.org or (360) 342-5005.

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The City of Battle Ground, located in the heart of Clark County, Wash., serves 21,500 residents.  The surrounding natural beauty, access to recreation activities, and close proximity to the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area make Battle Ground a desirable place to live and has created a period of considerable growth. The City functions under a Council-Manager form of government and provides vital public services such as police, planning and development, roads, parks, utilities and others. City leaders operate under guiding principles that were created with community input through a recent visioning process. More information about the City, including a list of its guiding principles can be found at www.cityofbg.org.

Clark County Fire District 3 provides fire suppression and emergency medical service to 40,000 people over 90 square miles, including the City of Battle Ground. Forty-five full-time and 13 volunteer emergency personnel responded to 4,221 calls in 2018 – 5.3% higher than the previous year. We live by our core values of professionalism, safety, teamwork, integrity, and community.  More information on Fire District 3 can be found on its website www.fire3.org.

 

 

 

 

 

Clark County Fire District 3 Passes Annexation Resolution - 10/29/19

Ballot Measure Will Be on February 11, 2020 Special Election

BRUSH PRAIRIE, WA— The Board of Fire Commissioners for Clark County Fire District 3 approved a resolution placing an annexation proposal on voter ballots during the February 11, 2020 Special Election. This came after the Battle Ground City Council passed a similar ordinance on October 21. If approved by voters, the City of Battle Ground would annex to the Fire District. Voters in both jurisdictions must pass the measure for it to take effect.

“This is the next step to protecting the quality and level of emergency services for both communities,” said Fire Chief Scott Sorenson.

Battle Ground is the only city in the area that contracts for emergency services. The current contract rate equates to $1.35 of the City’s $1.37 per $1,000 of assessed value general property tax levy. The emergency services contract is expected to exceed this amount in 2021, and services would have to be cut for the City to maintain a balanced budget.

Under annexation, all property owners would pay the same amount for emergency services directly to the Fire District. City residents also would be able to vote on fire district issues such as commissioners, levies, and bonds, which they currently can’t do. The City plans to reduce its utility tax for renters and property owners by 46 percent to help offset the cost of the fire levy.

Chief Sorenson says that Fire District residents also have a stake in the game. Stations in both jurisdictions back up one another during multiple emergency calls. The contract has allowed for improved training, fire marshal and fire prevention services. This partnership also contributes to the strong insurance rating for both communities, which is linked to how much home and business owners pay in premiums.

If annexation is approved, the Fire District would receive the two fire engines and supporting equipment owned by the City. It also would receive a deed to seven acres of city-owned property for a future fire station that would be ideally located to serve both communities. The existing fire station would be leased to the Fire District at $1 per month.

“Contracts are short-term and temporary. We are stronger working together as one agency,” said Chief Sorenson. “Annexation will allow us to plan long-term for the emergency service needs of both communities as we grow.”

More information can be found on Fire District 3’s website at www.fire3.org. City residents are encouraged to visit its website to learn more at https://www.cityofbg.org/470/Fire-Emergency-Medical-Services.  

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Clark County Fire District 3 provides fire suppression and emergency medical service to 20,000 people in the communities of Hockinson, Brush Prairie, Venersborg, Heisson and the Battle Ground Lake area. It has provided emergency services to the City of Battle Ground since 2016. Forty-five full-time and 13 volunteer emergency personnel responded to 4,221 calls in 2018 – 5.3% higher than the previous year. More information on Fire District 3 can be found on its website www.fire3.org.