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The following is a Guest Entry from Bald Hills Fire Commissioner Bill Owen about the Levy on the ballot for those in the Bald Hills Fire District to have knowledge to make an educated vote:

The Bald Hills Fire Department is asking the taxpayers to pass a levy lid increase of about 29 cents per thousand dollar
assessment to pay for more equipment and training for the volunteer fire fighters and medical responders. I’ve been campaigning
for the levy and getting a lot of good positive feedback until the new property tax assessments came in the mail last week.
My property tax went up about 60 % and I nearly fell out of my chair. My first reaction was “I being robbed !!!” I’m guessing
that there are a lot of voters who are thinking; not another cent in taxes. I really can’t blame them.

I’m writing to plead for the fire department. No matter how much your assessment goes up we only get a one percent increase
in our budget without the levy passing. We need a lot of stuff to assure a proper response to neighbors who have emergencies.
We have a large newer mobile home that has been generously donated to the fire department. We need about 30k to move it
and set it up. We need more air packs, and bunker gear for all the new responder volunteers that have signed up, which will
cost the district about 60k. We want to buy a thermal imaging device to locate the seat of the fire in a house or quickly locate
all the victims of a car crash, it costs about 10k. We want to add a second fire engine for times that our main engine is out of
service, it will cost about 40k for a used one and we need to equip it with hose, fans, tools, hose fittings etc. …. more money.
I hope your reader are getting the picture. We need to pass the levy.

The volunteer response since we have ended our contract with Yelm has been fantastic. We have a class of 11 volunteers
going through medical First Responder class and they are nearly finished. We are starting a Fire Corp program for those who
don’t respond to calls but who want to help the fire department. This includes a Fire Cadet program for young people 16-18
years old who want to train as fire fighters and medical responders. We’ve had a number of people join up who have prior
experience as either fire fighters and/or EMTs. An important way that voters can show your support for all these great volunteers
is to pass the levy.

If you would pass these thoughts on to your readers, I would be in debt to you.

Bill Owen
Bald Hills Fire District

Posted by Steve on October 29, 2007 at 6:26 am | Permalink

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