Benton Fire District 2 to put levy on ballot

By the Herald staffApril 17, 2013 

Benton Fire District 2 will ask voters in August to renew the levy used to pay for fire service.

The levy rate will remain the same at $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

"We've had a levy in place for years," said Chief Ron Duncan. "Every six years it comes up for renewal. It's not a new tax."

And he said it's critical to maintain current operations. The rural fire district covers an 88-square-mile territory that includes Benton City and some surrounding area.

The election is Aug. 6.

The fire district has about 45 volunteer firefighters and three career firefighters. The district recently was awarded a $1 million federal grant that will allow it to add six more paid firefighters -- three firefighter/paramedics and three firefighter/EMTs -- improving service and response times, Duncan said.

The three-year grant is restricted to personnel use and can't be spent on other costs, Duncan said.

District 2 also has an EMS levy for ambulance service. District voters last year overwhelmingly approved renewing that levy for 10 years; it collects 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

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