Fire levy approved by voters

Voters renewed the South Lane County Fire and Rescue levy with 78.34 percent of the vote. 

Measure 20-278—a renewal of a 47 cents per $1,000 of assessed value levy—was described as necessary by Fire Chief John Wooten in the weeks leading up to the election. 

The fire district embarked on a public education tour, visiting service clubs and the city council to give presentations on the levy renewal, touting improved ISO ratings that lowered homeowners' insurance policy costs and described a vast improvement in out-the-door times for local stations.

According to Wooten, up to nine firefighter/paramedic positions could have been cut and staffing levels at the Cottage Grove and Creswell stations would have been reduced from their current 24/7 levels if voters had denied the renewal. 

“It might mean we get out of the ambulance business,” Wooten previously told The Sentinel noting that the loss of the levy would also affect the ISO rating and subsequently, homeowners’ insurance rates. 

The district said it would have tried again in May if the measure failed. 

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