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Cambria will vote in June to pay for full-time firefighters

Karen Garcia Mar 1, 2018 4:00 AM

Cambria residents will get the chance to vote in June on a proposed tax of $62.15 per parcel owner to pay for three full-time fire fighters.

The Cambria Community Services District board opted 4-0, with Harry Farmer absent, at the Feb. 8 district meeting to tax all parcels rather than only taxing developed parcels. That decision will be on the ballot during the upcoming 2018 election primary.

During public comment, some community members said that all owners should share in the expense of providing the financial security to protect their property and homes from fire.

"One would have to believe that fire will select developed over non-developed properties, which of course is rubbish. Fire doesn't care, it just burns," Allyson Dallmann said.

If passed by a two-thirds majority vote, the tax would allow the Cambria Fire Department to maintain its current staffing levels after a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant expires this year.

The federal grant funded three firefighters for the department for two years. At the meeting, Fire Chief William Hollingsworth said the department wasn't allowed to apply for a grant that would extend the SAFER funding.

The proposed tax would generate $378,000 a year for the firefighters. Δ