By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Your vote could have a major impact on the future of the Redmond Fire Department.
Ken Kehmna, Fire Chief of Redmond Fire and Rescue explains, “On their ballot people will be seeing information about the local option levy. And they’ll be making a choice on whether or not to support us through that local option levy with 27 cents per one-thousand dollars of assessed valuation.”
Chief Kehmna says call volume in Redmond has gone up about 34% over the last six years.
And he says Redmond Fire needs funding from the levy simply to maintain current staff and equipment.
“We’ve adopted budgets two years in a row with a fairly substantial deficit,” said Kehmna. “And so this will help us maintain what we have.”
If the levy is approved, the money would go towards mostly emergency medical equipment.
If denied, Chief Kehmna says cuts may need to be made.
“If we’re going to continue to try and save money, it’s about reducing personnel. And unfortunately that means that one of our ambulance teams may be in jeopardy, and that’s something we really want to try and avoid. If we have to reduce staffing and take an ambulance out of service, it’s going to impact response times and that’s a big issue for us.”
For residents within the fire district, the average cost of a 27-cent local option levy would come out to $54 per year or $4.50 per month.
Chief Kehmna says if that levy becomes approved, Redmond Fire should see that money come in by the end of the year.