This is an open letter to you, your staff and any Lewis County citizen. When checking on what the fire levy’s passing will do to your taxes, you need to check what its failing to do to your property insurance. As it is now, only those who have structures on their property are paying the fire fee, which will no longer be collected when the levy goes into effect. If the levy passes, our rich neighbors, who have bought up a lot of our land where there are no structures, will share in paying for the fire and emergency services, just the same as you and I are now. Currently, they are paying nothing (for such properties).
Did you support the pool levy? If you owned property in Lewis County, you did. I did and I have never been in that pool. I had not a choice; it was assessed and came on my tax bill. This fire levy is approximately the same amount and same percentage. If you live in Weston, you are assessed city taxes only for the paid portion of the Weston Fire Department. It has a volunteer part, which is now dependent on the fire fees collected for its operation. That part of the department will be in jeopardy if the levy fails, just as all the other departments in the county may have to close. If that happens to a department in your area, your property insurance will raise considerably, and the value of your property will go down.
Do your homework—weigh your advantages and disadvantages. Be a good citizen who supports all the efforts of our volunteers who put their lives on the line many times for you and me. Vote for the levy on Jan. 6.
Clara Mae Spray
Partial Owner of Spray Farms