County commission OK's Fire 2 annexation, county levy resolutions
December 15, 2022
Wahkiakum County commissioners on Tuesday authorized expansion of Skamokawa’s Fire District No. 2, passed resolutions setting tax levy rates for 2023 and addressed other items of business.
Fire District 2 had presented petitions signed by at least 60 percent of the residents of the proposed annexation, and the county auditor’s office confirmed the proposal met the requirements for annexation.
Prior to annexation, district boundaries included properties close to SR 4 and Skamokawa valley roads. The annexation will take in new construction and forested areas north to the county line and east and west to neighboring fire district boundaries.
The tax rate for the district is $.4 9166 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
Commissioners adopted resolutions concerning the county’s taxes. The resolutions included no increases for the County General Fund and County Road levies.
The General Fund levy was set at $695,000 but reduced to $685,644.47 by deduction of $9,355.47. Assessor Bill Coons said there had been an error in calculation for the 2021 levy which was discovered in a state audit.
The County Road levy will be $530,000, and the Emergency Medical Services levy, the only levy to increase by 1 percent, will be $253,000.
In other business:
--Commissioners supported a recommendation from the Real Property Rights Advisory Committee to halt work on a state required periodic review of the county’s Shoreline Management Program (SMP). Officials said the state Department of Ecology is reviewing a proposed update of the SMP, and they feel there is no need to do a review of a document that lacks final DOE approval. The simultaneous process is causing confusion for staff and the public, they said.
--Commission Chair Gene Strong reported that the board will have a telephone visit from the chair of the state House of Representatives Transportation Committee, Jake Fey, to discuss funding for the county ferry. The state subsidizes costs of ferry operation; county officials feel the funding should be increased because of increased operating costs.