The North Lincoln Fire-Rescue District (NLFRD) Board Wednesday (March 8) is expected to approve a ballot measure that would pay to improve fire protection across its service area – Cutler City (and points south) and north to the county line and easterly up Highway 18.
In a newsletter to the community, the district board says the district has been straining lately because calls for service have more than doubled since 1997 when the last district merger occurred – calls for service including fires, medical calls, traffic crashes, water rescues, toxic spills and requirements for fire inspections, water safety and fire prevention.
The tax increase would be $14 a month on a home assessed at $200,000 up to $24.50/month on an assessed $350,000 home.
Fire district officials say the strain has not only been caused by the growing number of calls for service, but also what a dollar buys for personnel and equipment today compared to 1997. Another growing difficulty is attracting qualified volunteer firefighters. In 2007 NLFRD had 63 volunteers on the roster. Today, despite a doubling of the call volume, they’re down to 43. Those who follow the economy claim that part of the problem is the coast’s high cost of living and lack of affordable housing – problems that cut deeply across Lincoln City’s low-wage tourism-based economy. The solution, according to the NLFD board, is to hire more full time paid firefighters along with more equipment and training.
To see more information on the ballot measure click here.