LEABURG, Ore. – One of the items up for vote during the Oregon Primary Election is a proposed McKenzie Fire and Rescue levy.
Fire Chief Darren Bucich said the district is proposing a new five-year levy that would start in 2020.
Back in 2010 voters passed a 10-year levy which is ending in late 2019. With that levy the district was able to build new headquarters, as well as get new equipment and response vehicles.
Bucich said since the levy is ending soon they want to get another levy passed so they can maintain their operations throughout the five stations in their district.
"Unfortunately the cost of a fire truck isn't going down, it's going up, and even though we do as much as we can in-house, some things still have to be purchased from the outside and the cost of having personnel available 24 hours a day is expensive as well," said Bucich.
He said the levy will increase annual taxes from $135 to $180 a year for a home worth $300,000. Which means the increase would about $15 more per month.
Although Bucich wants to get the levy passed, he understands why some voters may be opposed to it.
"Of course there are folks that just don't like to see taxes or any increases in their taxes, and I'm sure those are the oppositions,” said Bucich. “But we're very open with what we do with the taxpayers’ money, and anytime somebody wants to stop by we're glad to answer their questions for them."
Bucich said he's been with the district for nearly a decade and can't thank the community enough for their continuous support over the years.
"Without the dedication from our community in the yes votes we wouldn't have the things we have today."
The Oregon Primary Election is on May 15.