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C2 Hearing–

Posted on 27th May 2010 at 08:37

About 150 people packed the equipment bay at the Lexington Fire Station yesterday afternoon, taking part in the Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue Commission public hearing on the proposal to form a Local Improvement District to pay for a new fire station. More than 30 people spoke, with only one person speaking in support of the proposal. After the hearing, the Commission voted to move ahead with an advisory vote on the proposal; Commission Chair Jeff Cameron says that they need to hear from more people. Several who spoke say that they understand the need for a new building, but they wonder why the cost isn’t being spread over the entire district. Others say that the timing is just wrong, saying that too many people are still hurting from the recession. After the public input, the Commission did vote to move ahead with an advisory vote on the proposal. It’s now planned that staff will review the input from the hearing, and will develop some options for language that would be used on the ballots. They’ll also work on developing the method for counting the ballots, as it’s expected that this would be a “weighted” vote. The Commission plans to settle on the advisory vote process at their next meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, June 9th. It’s currently planned that the ballots would go out on June 23rd, and would be counted on July 7th. Under the current plan, if 40 percent of the assessed valuation was opposed to the LID, then it would be stopped.