Approved Ballot Measures
Fire Service Levy Lid-Lift and Bonds Approved
We would like to thank the community for their support of our Fire Service Levy increase and bonds in the November 8, 2022 General Election.
Thanks to your support, we will be able to hire up to 10 additional firefighters to help us reduce response times, increase unit reliability, and improve community safety. The additional personnel will help us serve the City's growing population and demands for emergency services. The bonds will allow us to build a second fire station in the southwest area of Oak Harbor to add capacity and improve service reliability across the entire City. The levy and bond will also facilitate the replacement of two type one fire engines that are reaching the end of their useful life; one will be replaced with a quint ladder truck.
We are proud to serve this community and grateful for your support. We will keep you updated on our progress and report back to you as we implement these service improvements.
Thank you again for your support.
Approved Ballot Measures
LEVY LID LIFT FOR FIRE PROTECTION RESPONSE TIME IMPROVEMENTS
While the City of Oak Harbor has grown in land area and population over the last few decades, only one permanent full-time firefighter has been added since 2000. Oak Harbor has approximately 0.45 full-time firefighters per 1,000 people, as compared to 1.25 per 1,000 people for like-sized Washington cities. The majority of the funds from this proposition would provide funds to add firefighters to bring the ratio closer to 0.85 full-time firefighters per 1,000 people. It would also upgrade vehicles and equipment, improve firefighter health and safety, and provide for fire operating/capital costs.
Proposition 1 would increase the City's regular property tax levy to $2.4886/$1,000 of assessed valuation (an estimated increase of approximately $0.6656/$1,000) beginning in 2023. The City estimates that the cost of this proposition in annual property taxes would be approximately $67 a year for every $100,000 of assessed valuation, or approximately $5.55 a month for every $100,000 of assessed valuation. The assessed values are determined by the Island County Assessor.
GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS
FIRE PROTECTION RESPONSE TIME IMPROVEMENTS
The City of Oak Harbor provides fire services to City residents through the Oak Harbor Fire Department ('"OHFD") with one fire station located at 855 E Whidbey Avenue. As the City continues to grow and expand, OHFD's response time continues to rise. An independent study in 2016 recommended building a second fire station to improve response times and capabilities.
If approved, this proposition would authorize up to $9,200,000 of general obligation bonds that would mature within a maximum of 21 years to finance the acquisition of property, construction and equipping a second fire station in the City and acquisition of a new ladder truck. Although the exact amount of property taxes per household necessary to repay the bonds will depend on interest rates and property values, the City estimates that the annual property tax paid by the owner of a home would be approximately $29 a year for every $100,000 of assessed valuation, or approximately $2.35 a month for every $100,000 of assessed valuation. The assessed values are determined by the Island County Assessor. Exemptions from taxes may be available to certain homeowners.