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Rio Dell residents to vote on raising taxes to help fire department

RIO DELL- Property owners in Rio Dell are being asked to vote on a measure to raise funds for the fire department and emergency services. Residents received benefit assessment ballots in the mail last week from the fire department.

The ballots ask property owners to vote for or against a measure that would raise property taxes by nearly $84 per year. Residents currently contribute $4 per unit of benefit to emergency services out of their property taxes, with a single family home typically paying $16 a year. The new measure would cost families $25 per unit or $100 per year for a single family home. Fire officials say they haven’t levied taxes in nearly 20 years and this raise is needed for the department to continue emergency services, update equipment and improve their facility.

“We chose to do a mail ballot instead of on the general election so that the property owners would have their voice heard and we are hoping that we have a great relationship with our property owners and with our district,” said Rio Dell Fire Chief Shane Wilson. “We've really made it a focus to be an interactive fire department and we know that we have the support of our community.”

The ballots are due Wednesday, October 30th. On that day the fire district will hold a public hearing at 5:30 pm at the Rio Dell Fire Department. After the hearing, fire officials will count the returned ballots and announce the next steps.