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South Kitsap Fire Levy passes by wide margin

A ballot measure to renew a South Kitsap Fire and Rescue emergency services lid lift worth nearly $2 million passed by a wide margin in Tuesday’s special election.

As of Wednesday morning, the six-year levy renewal was passing with 57.81 percent “Yes” votes against a 42.19 percent “No”  votes, according to election officials.

The Kitsap County Auditor’s Office, which oversees elections, said there were about 1,000 ballots left to come in through the mail out of the 14,770 votes already counted.

The measure required a simple majority to pass, said Kitsap County elections manager Dolores Gilmore.

The levy means SKFR will continue to receive about $1.7 million of SKFR’s $12 million budget through the property tax, which will continue for six more years. The levy allows SKFR to collect up to $1.48 per $1,000 of assessed property value from homeowners.

The increase was first passed in 2006 after SKFR’s fire district commissioners recommended the lid lift.

SKFR fire chief Wayne Senter said losing the lid lift would have required SKFR to cut 20 employees.

Senter said he was “extremely happy” to hear that the levy was passing by such a wide margin Tuesday night. Fire commissioners and SKFR employees worked tirelessly in their off hours to get the word out to the 72,000 people and 118 square miles the district covers, he said.

“We’re all really happy. We work hard to be part of the fabric of this community,” Senter said.

SKFR has 102 employees and 60 active volunteers at 16 total fire stations throughout South Kitsap.

On Tuesday, the Kitsap County auditor had received 15,093 ballots, 35.14 percent of all registered voters in the county.

 

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