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Nehalem Bay Fire Fact Sheet

Nehalem Bay Fire Fact Sheet

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Published by Tim Anderson

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Published by: Tim Anderson on Apr 09, 2011
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 Nehalem Bay Fire & Rescue DistrictFact Sheet
Question & Answers
What is Real Market Value (RMV) vs. Assessed Value (AV) and can it increase?
RMV is what youyour home/property is worth, based on current market conditions in the area as determined by Tillamook County. AV is what the county assess your property value at for the purpose of taxation. In most casesAV is significantly lower than RMV. Under Oregon law, AV can increase up to 3% per year.
What is the permanent tax rate?
In November of 2008 The Nehalem Bay Fire & Rescue District wasformed by a vote of the people with a permanent tax rate of $1.15 per $1,000 of Assessed Value (AV).
Can the permanent tax rate be increased or decreased?
The permanent tax rate can never be increased.Each year under Oregon Budget Law a budget committee, made up of the Board of Directors and five (5)citizens, reviews the budget at public meeting(s), makes recommended changes and then adopts thebudget and tax rate by a motion. The Board of Directors then holds a public budget hearing beforeapproving the budget and tax rate for the year by Board Resolution. The tax rate for the year will only bethe amount needed for the budget. So if less is needed the Board will set the tax rate at only the amountneeded, which can never exceed the permanent rate of $1.15.
When will the Board levy less than the $1.15?
Since the stations are not yet built and the final financeamount has not yet been determined, It’s anticipated the Board will need to continue to Levy the $1.15 forthe next fiscal year. By the beginning of the budget process for 2013/14 fiscal year the Board shouldknow true operating costs, and can begin to adjust the amount levied to offset the increase in the AVamount for the 2013/14 fiscal year. For example, if the AV goes up 3% and it’s found we only need aportion of the expected revenue for the 2013/14 fiscal year the Board will decreased the amount levied.
Why was $1.15 used for a permanent tax rate?
In 2005 a task force was formed with citizenrepresentatives from the Neahkahnie Water District, Nehalem Rural Fire District, the Cities of Wheeler,Nehalem and Manzanita to study the issue with the fire service. They made a recommendation to theCities to hire a full time Fire Chief and Training Officer but felt they needed someone with experience inthe fire service to really identify and address the issues and figure out the cost. Emergency ServicesConsultants, Inc. was hired by the entities in 2006 and completed a “Nehalem Bay Fire Services Task Force Cooperative Effort Feasibility Study”, which was available for public review at each city hall. TheESCI study identified deficiencies in the city fire departments. The study came up with multiplesuggestions. Since everyone paid different amounts for fire service it was decided the best solution wasthe formation of a new fire district so everyone paid the same amount and establish a stable fundingsource that could address all the issues. In late 2008 an “Economic Feasibility Study” was done, whichincorporated the recommendations of the ESCI Study. Those included having to build two fire stations,hire a full time Fire Chief, Training Officer, and a part-time administrative assistant, and replace apparatus
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as needed to ensure our fire fighters have reliable equipment to work with. The $1.15 was establishedbased on the studies completed and needs assessment.
Why are we buying new trucks?
As stated earlier, the District wants to ensure the fire fighters havegood, reliable equipment to do their jobs. Prior to District formation several fire vehicles were identifiedas needing immediate replacement.2009/2010 Fiscal YearCOMMAND VEHICLE The District bought a Ford Explorer which is the command vehicle. The Districtstarted a 24 hour duty officer program after formation of the new district. This ensures a fire officer isavailable 24 hours a day seven days a week. The Duty Officer responds to nuisance calls, which saves theentire department from having to be called out to go check on an illegal burn, or smoke in the area orother type of nuisance calls. During the work week the Command Vehicle is used by the Fire Chief whoshares duty shifts with the Training officer after hours. During the weekends the duty shifts are shared bythe volunteer Fire Officers who take the Command vehicle home. This program allows for a quickerresponse, size up of the situation and cancelling the volunteers if they’re not needed. The district boughtthe most economical SUV, a Ford Explorer and paid $25,180. Tillamook Ford won out of fivedealerships that provided quotes. 2010/11 Fiscal YearRESCUE VEHICLE – The District replaced the 1989 Chevrolet pickup, which was used as a rescuevehicle. Braun Northwest, Inc. was awarded the bid to build the rescue which cost $155,052.STAFF VEHICLE – The 1989 Chevrolet brush truck needed to be replaced. The District planned onusing the replacement vehicle that could also be used by training officer during the work day forconducting fire preplans, Hazardous Materials Preplan and other district business. The District wasfortunate to receive a Dodge Durango free of charge from Nestucca Fire & Rescue. The District decidednot to replace the Chevy brush truck but just surplus it. All the District had to do to the Durango wasremov the old decals and put Nehalem Bay decals on it. Volunteers also use this vehicle for out of districtclasses on the weekends.TENDER PUMPER - The District has ordered a Tender Pumper this year. It is replacing the 1974 FordFire Engine and the 1994 Freightliner Tender. A tender is a vehicle that hauls water to the rural area thathas no hydrants for fire fighting. It dumps its water into a portable tank and then goes to the nearesthydrant or river drafting point for more water. So this one vehicle is replacing two. The cost of the tenderpumper is $189,146.
Will the new fire stations cost me more than I’m paying now?
No, the fire stations will be financedout of the existing tax rate. The debt service payment will be made out of the District’s existing budget.
Why is the new station costing so much?
In Oregon fire stations are considered critical facilities andhave many more building requirements than other types of buildings. These cost an increase in price. Inaddition, the Oregon Prevailing Wage Rate Laws apply to public projects over $50,000. This adds a
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substantial cost that is beyond the District’s control. At this time the square footage cost is projected tobe $100 for the apparatus areas and $160 for the operational areas of the station.
Why is Nehalem Bay Fire & Rescue District’s proposed main station so large?
The main station wasplanned to meet our current needs and future needs. The Board members and fire chief visited numerousstations built within the last 15 years, interviewed their staff to learn about building fire stations, whatworked, what didn’t, and what they would have done differently. After considering all that was learnedfrom station visits and input of the volunteers, and working with the architect, the final station planswhere designed. At a November 16, 2010 special Board meeting, the Board approved the final plans of the station. With all the mandates required of the volunteers it’s hard to get people to want to commitbeing a volunteer today. So anything we can do to attract volunteers is important. Some of the stationfeatures are for that purpose.STATION CONSTRUCTION – The Board looked at Concrete, CMU (Concrete Block filled with rebarand concrete), metal and wood construction. Wood construction was deemed the most cost effectivestructure to build. The stations apparatus bay walls will be CMU for seismic reasons but the rest will bebuilt with wood.EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER (EOC) - The station was carefully planned to include anemergency operations center (EOC) to use during disasters or large scale events. It also will house theback up 911 lines. Most people don’t know that when the long distance lines go down, Nehalem RTIthrows a switch and the fire district becomes 911 for our area until the problem can be fixed. NorthCounty is prone to isolation from the rest of the county during winter storms, floods etc… and having anorth county EOC has been proven valuable in the past. During the 2007 storm the North County EOCwas manned from Sunday evening until Thursday evening by staff and volunteers.Training/Community Room - A training room is included so the District volunteers have a class room areafor training. This room will seat 40 persons and also act as a Board room and Community Room. Akitchen is positioned off the Training/Community room, which could be used for events, during all dayweekend classes, which the fire district does several weekends per year, and during emergency situationswhen the EOC is operating for extended periods of time.Physical Fitness Room – This room will serve as an attraction for volunteers. By having a PhysicalFitness room at the station, it puts the volunteers at the station so if a call comes in it provides for aquicker response. This is also an attraction because if a person volunteers for the District they will haveunlimited access to use the facility. We encourage all of our fire fighters to stay healthy and physicallyfit.Child Care Room – Many times volunteers can’t respond because they have their children. Several of ourvolunteers said they would respond if someone could watch their child while they’re on the call. Severalretired folks in our community offer to help watch kids during emergency calls. During the day, theAdministrative Assistant could watch the children until another volunteer can arrive and take over. TheDistrict will do background checks, teach first aid, and CPR to those who watch children during anemergency.
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