CCFD3 commissioners to vote on lid lift ballot measure


After two “Coffee with the Chief” meetings and a Clark County Fire District 3 Board of Fire Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, March 27, district commissioners will officially decide whether to put a levy lid lift out for a vote this August.

CCFD3 is currently considering asking voters for a fire levy lid lift in the August 2024 primary election to reset the fire levy rate to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Call volumes have increased more than 25 percent in the last six years, and medical emergencies now account for 70 percent of all calls, according to previous reporting by The Reflector.

In 2017, voters approved a fire levy with a rate of $1.42 per $1,000 of assessed property value. After years of “levy erosion,” the amount collected has dropped dramatically to $1.16.

Residents who attended recent coffee chats with Fire Chief Scott Sorenson were generally supportive of the levy lift idea, but many wondered why the levy didn’t pass in last year’s election.

“In 2023, voters shuttered a 1% lid lift. That is now impacting service levels. On top of the foiled lid lift, two of the district’s 14 firefighter/paramedics left for other jobs; those positions are now unfunded,” a March 13 article in The Reflector stated.

Sorenson said, if a new levy passes, the funding collected would go only to Fire District 3 fire and emergency medical services. He stated, if the levy lid lift is approved, the district would be able to add staff over a six-year period, with the ultimate goal of three crew members per station across the district, except of station 35.

“We would have two three-person crews in that station because of the call volume and density in [Battle Ground],” Sorenson said.

The District 3 fire levy funds fire suppression/prevention and the district’s emergency medical service (EMS) program, its website states. The district does not collect an EMS levy.

In 2023, CCFD3 responded to 3,637 rescue and EMS calls out of 5,175 total dispatches, according to data. The district’s call volume has increased 4.3% over the last seven years.

“Revenue from our fire levy is not keeping up with higher call volumes and costs to provide emergency services,” according to CCFD3’s website.

It further states the district is limited by state law to just a 1 percent revenue increase each year, while its costs to provide services increase almost 6 percent each year. Since the 2023 lid lift failed, two of the 14 firefighter/paramedics left for other jobs, and those positions are now unfunded.

According to the website, the lid lift would fund:

• 24-hour staffing at all five stations

• Additional paramedic certified firefighters to improve survival rates in the community

• The purchase of a new ambulance to be used when transport cannot be delayed

• Fire station improvements that are needed to maintain operational readiness.

The Board of Fire Commissioners will vote April 10 on whether to ask voters to approve a 34 cent levy lid lift to reset the rate to $1.50 per $1,000 assessed value. The lid lift would cost the owner of a $500,000 home an additional $14.17 per month or $170 per year, the fire district  website states.

To learn more about CCFD3 and for updates on board meetings, visit