Matter of life and breath: Vote yes on fire levy | Letters
July 13, 2012 · 10:59 AM
I had an asthma attack June 1 that was so severe that I could barely breathe. I pushed my Life Alert button and was told by the operator that the emergency team would be at my home soon.
South King Fire and Rescue arrived in about five minutes, with ambulance service not far behind.
This kind of quick response is costly and necessary. That’s why I feel it imperative to vote yes for the South King Fire and Rescue levy on the Aug. 7 ballot. Tough economic times have affected everyone. But when it’s a matter of life and death, I want to know that I can have reliable emergency service.
With property values declining, SKFR has lost nearly $6 million in tax revenue over the past few years. It is estimated that without a positive levy vote, another $2 million drop in tax revenue would occur in 2013. Since 2010, SKFR has cut 26 positions (16 percent of the work force).
The levy would restore $3.5 million. At a cost of 29 cents per $1,000 of property value, this amounts to $58 per year for a homeowner living in a house valued at $200,000. The first $2 million would mean a break-even for 2013. An aide car can be put back into service for another million dollars. Of the four aide cars in SKFR, only two are in full service in the current budget. The remaining half-million dollars would go back into the severely-depleted capital fund.
If the levy fails, another 18 positions would be cut and one or more fire stations would have to be closed.
If they close the fire station near me, another asthma attack could kill me. I’m voting for the SKFR levy as a matter of life and breath.
H. David Kaplan, Federal Way