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Templeton plans special election for tax to fund fire services 

On May 21, the Templeton Community Services District board unanimously approved calling for a special election on a parcel tax to fund its Fire and Emergency Services department.

click to enlarge SAVING LOCAL CONTROL After 10 years of pursuing different avenues to fund the Templeton Fire and Emergency Services department, the district is proposing a parcel tax to pay for services. - PHOTO BY JAYSOM MELLOM
  • Photo By Jaysom Mellom
  • SAVING LOCAL CONTROL After 10 years of pursuing different avenues to fund the Templeton Fire and Emergency Services department, the district is proposing a parcel tax to pay for services.

After months of raising awareness about the department's lack of funding and staffing as well as asking the county for assistance—and being rejected—Templeton voters will now have a chance to weigh in on a potential tax.

Templeton Fire Chief Bill White said the department and the district have been working extremely hard to get the message out to the community.

"Raising awareness of our financial struggles to provide a reliable and sustainable 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week staffing model has been very successful. We have spoken to a number of community organizations and have received positive feedback and support of our efforts. We have a tremendous amount of positive momentum moving forward with the process," White said.

The resolution passed at the district meeting calls for San Luis Obispo County to conduct a special all-mail election on Aug. 27, which would cost the district $40,000.

The proposed parcel tax of $180 per year per parcel—adjusted annually for inflation and capped at 2 percent—would generate $486,000 each year for the department.

The funds from the tax would maintain fire protection, improve 911 emergency response times, and provide 24/7 staffed fire and emergency response services, instead of the current nine hours per day.

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