Graham fire chief stumps for levy, warns of shortfall and fire station closures

February 10th, 2018

As reported in The News Tribune:

By Sean Robinson

Graham Fire & Rescue Chief Pat Dale wants voters in Pierce County Fire District 21 to know that a little item on Tuesday’s special election ballot could make a big difference for a small department contending with runaway growth.

The district’s maintenance and operations levy, last approved by voters in 2014, is up for renewal. It would replace the current levy and collect $17.2 million over the next four years, starting at a rate of 60 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. Passage requires a 60-percent majority.

Without the maintenance and operation money, Dale said the department will have to “brown out” some of its six fire stations on certain days. Population growth, up by 13 percent since 2010, has translated to an increase in service calls of 27 percent in the same time period. The district covers 70 square miles, home to roughly 70,000 people.

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