Voters approve SKFR levy

The South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Emergency Medical Services Levy passed convincingly with just under 72 percent of the vote Tuesday night.

By 8:03 p.m., the Kitsap County Auditor’s Office had counted 15,800 votes, with 11,374 for and 4,426 against.

The measured required a 60 percent supermajority for passage, but appeared to have gotten far more than needed.

SKFR Chief Wayne Senter said he was confident the measure would pass, but he had expected it to be by a lower margin that the 82 percent it passed with six years ago.

Speaking at Puerto Vallarta in Port Orchard, where many of the fire district’s members had gathered to wait for the vote, Senter thanked the crowd and the community for its support of the levy.

“This is a huge sign of how important our EMS services are to the community,” he said. “I want to give a huge thank-you to them for supporting what we do, and to our members and our elected officials.”

With the levy approved, SKFR can collect the maximum amount of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.

The fire district will use the money to hire at least a dozen additional firefighter/EMTs and upgrade its Station 9 near Manchester so it can be staffed with career firefighters.

“We’ve got a really big job ahead of us,” Senter said. “We’ve got 13 people we need to qualify and get on board, and we’ve got a station remodel we need to take care of.”

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