Fire & Emergency Medical Services
The City of Battle Ground contracts with Clark County Fire District 3 for fire and emergency medical services (EMS). There is one fire station in the city that is staffed 24 hours a day with full-time emergency personnel, two fire engines, an Advanced Life Support (ALS) Rescue Unit, and a Rapid Response Vehicle for fire and EMS calls. The partnership with Fire District 3 also provides for a Fire Marshal position to provide fire prevention, investigation, public education, plan review, inspections, and fire/building code enforcement.
Cost for Services
Battle Ground is the only city in the area that contracts for emergency services. This means property owners pay taxes to the city, and the city pays the fire district according to the contract amount.
The city must fund the fire contract and other services (such as police, streets, parks and facilities maintenance) through its property tax levy. The city’s levy is $1.37 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The fire services contract equates to $1.35 per $1,000 of this amount.
The current fire services contract is projected to exceed the city’s property tax collection revenues by 2021. This means emergency service levels would have to be reduced for the city to maintain a balanced budget.
Quality emergency services are essential to the health and well-being of our growing community. In fact, community members identified public safety as a key focus area in a recent community visioning process. Voters will be asked to consider annexing into Fire District 3 during the February 11, 2011 Special Election to maintain the quality and level of emergency services our community requires.
Under annexation, city property owners would pay the same fire levy rate that fire district property owners pay. (Projected to be $1.30/$1,000 in 2021.) To help offset the cost, the city will reduce its utility (water, sewer, stormwater drainage) tax from the current rate of 22% to 12% - a 46% decrease in the utility tax residents pay. City residents also would be able to vote on fire district matters such as commissioners, levies, and bonds, which they currently can’t do.
Annexation would enable the fire district to make long-term investments to maintain emergency service levels and response times. It also would help the city fund stronger policing efforts, better streets, parks maintenance and programs that build community. Read our list of frequently asked questions, or send new questions to Fire District 3 Chief Scott Sorenson or City Manager Erin Erdman.
- What does it mean to annex to Clark County Fire District 3?
- Doesn't the city already provide fire and emergency medical service?
- Why doesn’t the city have its own fire department?
- Has the city looked at contracting with other providers?
- How much do property owners pay now, and would pay under annexation?
- Does the city plan to reduce taxes to offset this cost?
City Manager Erin Erdman welcomes the opportunity to provide a 15-30 minute presentation to local groups and organizations about the City of Battle Ground's proposal to annex into Fire District 3 and answer questions. If you'd like to arrange for a presentation, please contact Erin's office at (360) 342-5005 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!