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Fire District 40 Voters Consider Maintaining Benefit Charge in April Election

A measure asks mainly Fairwood residents if they would like to continue whether to continue a Fire Benefit Charge, which enables the district to fund services based on a formula of need and cost.

King County Elections began mailing over 100,000 ballots Wednesday to voters across the county on a series of local measures — including Renton voters served by Fire District 40, which contracts for services with the City of Renton.

Officials say they expect a 30 percent turnout rate in the April 23 Special Election. Voters’ pamphlets and ballots will arrive in the same envelope.
The Fire District 40 election is focused on whether to continue a Fire Benefit Charge, which enables the district to fund services partly-based on a formula of need and cost. Fire District 40's coverage area focuses mainly on the Fairwood area.

The Fire Benefit Charge, first authorized in 1990, allows funding for appropriate staffing levels for a 24-hour Aid Car, a fire engine and modern apparatus to respond to emergencies. The fire district can keep its facilities safe, updated and maintained to provide essential services, according to supporters of the ballot measure, who also claim that the FBC allows the fire district to be less dependent on property taxes while maintaining stable service levels for its citizens.

The Elections Department has already sent more than 1,000 ballots to overseas and military voters and anticipates a 30 percent turnout rate in the April 23 Special Election.  Voters’ pamphlets and ballots will arrive in the same envelope.

"Fire districts across King County, from Bothell to Maple Valley, are considering important measures that voters will decide, so be sure to vote and return your ballot as early as possible," said Sherril Huff, Elections Director. "Voters in districts participating in this election who haven’t received a ballot by Monday, April 15 should contact the Elections Department right away."

Ballots must be postmarked by April 23 or returned to any of four ballot drop-off locations or the Accessible Voting Center in Renton by 8 p.m. on the same date.

Tips on how to vote:

  • Read the ballot instructions before voting
  • Use a black ink pen to fill out the ballot
  • Tear the stub off of the top of the ballot and recycle it
  • Sign the voter’s declaration on the back of the envelope. It must match the voter registration signature we have on file.
  • Return your ballot early so that it is part of the election night results report and there is enough time to correct any issues with your signature
  • For more information on voting by mail, watch a short video, visit the Elections website, or call 206-296-VOTE (8683).

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