Clallam County Fire District 3 commissioners have approved up to $52,000 for the department to purchase a facility maintenance van.
Fire Chief Ben Andrews also discussed asking voters this November to renew the district’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) levy, which expires Dec. 31, 2020, and staff provided background research on personal protection equipment for active-shooter scenarios during the March 19 meeting.
Andrews said Price Ford of Port Angeles was the only one of three requests for proposals returned that matched the district’s criteria for a maintenance vehicle. It also was the lowest bid, Andrews said. Commissioners approved the motion 3-0.
“We have a firm purchase price on the $46,000 and some change,” Andrews said.
Andrews said the district will buy a toolbox and an assortment of fasteners, and it will pay for labor on a custom paint job for the E-series Ford.
“The idea is to make it a quasi-mobile shop so we can minimize trips to Home Depot,” Andrews said.
Fire district officials expect the van to be delivered in 20 to 25 weeks.
EMS levy renewal
Andrews said he invited all the taxing districts from the North Olympic Peninsula to a meeting March 13 at Olympic Medical Center for a discussion about upcoming plans for ballot measures.
He referred to potential state legislation that would cap an individual’s property tax bill at $10 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
“If that passes, you can’t add more taxing capacity than the $10,” Andrews said. “My concern is they are going to have to prorate the other taxing districts.”
Andrews was concerned it may end up “infringing” on the top 50 cents of the district’s operations levy and the top 25 cents of the EMS levy.
“I think we need to be aware of it and be prepared to defend it,” he said.
Department staff members have researched the benefits associated with ballistic personal protective equipment that would be used in active-shooter scenarios.
The vests would contain steel plates that would carry a rifle-rated Level 3 designation for 20 years. The district is considering a purchase of 37 sets; all career staff have been sized.
“It’s not cheap, but I’m all in favor of providing protection for you guys,” Commissioner Michael Gawley said.
The discussion was tabled for future consideration.