WS Council Sends Fire Authority To Voters

The White Salmon City Council voted 4-1 to advance a proposed West Klickitat Regional Fire Authority made up of the City and Fire District 3 to voters in November.  The decision came after a trio of White Salmon firefighters testified they felt the process that developed the RFA plan had not truly brought all stakeholders together and should not yet go to the ballot box.  But councilors who had been a part of the committee to develop the proposal pushed back on that assertion, noting hours of meetings to put the RFA together and adding they did not intend for it to address every detail, putting that in the hands of the RFA board if it is formed.  Current White Salmon fire chief Bill Hunsaker also didn’t believe the City could wait until next August for a vote, noting the White Salmon Fire Department has been operating on “a shoestring for years.”  Under the RFA plan, White Salmon residents would be asked to approve a property tax levy of 76 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value.  Patty Fink was the only Councilor to vote no, saying she believes the City needs to fund fire operations better, but the process still needed more work.

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