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Posted on: June 19, 2018

Voters will decide Bothell’s Police and Fire Future

Police officer and firefighters

Public safety measures referred to November ballot

Bothell voters will be asked to decide on two ballot measures to support police and fire services and facilities in the November 2018 general election. At tonight’s regular City Council meeting, the Council unanimously voted to propose the measures after a rigorous assessment of police and fire needs and resources, and extensive community outreach.

If approved, the measures would fund additional police and fire staff, rebuild two fire stations, provide resources to maintain current service levels, and provide preventive, community-oriented police and fire services in the future.

“Our public safety servants are facing significant changes in law enforcement, including increasing demands due to the opioid epidemic, homelessness and mental illness in our community; as well as new and complex legal requirements,” said Mayor Andy Rheaume. “The Council felt it was important to put these measures in front of voters now to stay one step ahead of emerging issues.”

Public Safety Ballot Package

Based on public input, the City Council developed a public safety ballot “package” that includes two complementary measures: an operations levy and a capital bond. The operations levy would address citizens’ priorities including traffic and school safety; reducing theft and property crimes; tackling drug use and homelessness; and providing continued high quality fire and emergency medical response. The capital bond addresses the need to replace two of three aging fire stations.

  1. A Public Safety Levy will address operating needs, including funding 27 additional police officers, firefighters and support staff to provide timely, reliable response to Bothell residents.
  2. A Public Safety Capital Bond will fund the complete rebuild of two (Canyon Park and Downtown) of Bothell’s three fire stations.

The total cost of both measures is about $350 per year on a $500,000 home.

The City Council proposed these two new measures only after the economic recovery took hold and a 1997 voter-approved public safety bond for the Police and Municipal Court buildings was paid off. Residents paid 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or about $50 per year on a $500,000 home in 2017.

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