Foresthill and Placer Hills voters will have the opportunity to decide their level of fire and emergency medical service in special mail ballot elections May 7. The Placer County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved resolutions that will put the measures on special election ballots for an increase in parcel tax rates for each area.
Should voters approve the increase to the special assessment, fire district officials report that they would be able to maintain current staffing levels, prevent significant cutbacks and provide the appropriate level of fire protection and emergency medical response services for Foresthill- and Placer Hills-served communities. Placer Hills Fire Protection District includes the communities of Applegate, Clipper Gap, Eden Valley, Meadow Vista and Weimar.
The measures will each require a two-thirds majority vote for approval.
The Foresthill Fire and Placer Hills Fire Protection District boards of directors have determined that the cost to maintain adequate levels of service is beyond the reach of the districts, and requested the assessment increase to better serve their residents.
"By authorizing these Special District election requests, we continue our commitment to empowering local fire districts to better serve their residents,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “Everything we’ve learned from the Camp Fire, tells us that communities investing in their local fire and emergency medical services has never been more important.”
Each district would reimburse the county for the cost of their election with the additional revenue it generates if their measure is successful. If a measure is unsuccessful, the county will cover the cost of the election for the district.
Fire service in Placer County is provided by many different agencies. State law does not require counties to provide fire service, and communities have historically organized and funded their own local fire districts, largely through parcel taxes.