Fire protection fee in Penn Valley to increase? |

Fire protection fee in Penn Valley to increase?

Penn Valley residents may see an increase in their fire protection fee next year if a special tax measure on the November ballot passes.

Tuesday, the board of directors for the Penn Valley Fire Protection District voted to place a special tax on the November ballot that, if passed, would provide the money necessary to staff a second fire station and purchase a second ambulance, board Vice Chairman Hank Weston said.

The second fire station – which has been completed for more than one year – currently lacks the personnel and equipment needed to provide emergency fire and rescue service to Penn Valley residents, said Weston, who is also chief of the Grass Valley Fire Department.

The proposed measure would increase the semi-annual fee from $59 to $95 to staff this station and purchase a new ambulance.

“The station has been completed for more than a year now, and we get so many back-to-back emergency calls that we don’t always have the resources to answer,” Weston said.

Penn Valley is the only fire district in Nevada County that runs an ambulatory service from the fire station, he said. A second ambulance would allow the all-volunteer fire protection team to answer multiple rescue calls that often happen simultaneously, Weston said.

To help boost the special tax measure’s chances of passing, Weston said, the district is forming a citizen committee to hold informational meetings, make posters and answer the public’s questions regarding the proposed tax increase.

The second fire station is located on the corner of Spenceville Road and Penn Valley Drive.

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