Information on the Proposed New Fire District: Pleasant Hill Goshen Rural Fire Protection District. Learn more about the measures by clicking the resources below.
The following measures are being voted on during the November 2023 election. Click each measure below to learn more from the Lane County website:
Upcoming Town Hall Meetings
Oct. 5th at 6:00 pm (Live Stream Link)
Real Life Church – Goshen 33988 C St, Eugene, OR 97405
Oct 12th at 6:00 pm
In Pleasant Hill – Location Coming Soon.
Click the image below to open a full-page PDF.
Frequently Asked Questions
If passed, the measure would fund staffing 24 hours per day, 7 days per week in both Pleasant Hill and Goshen communities, provide fire and rescue equipment, and replace the current Pleasant Hill Station.
This proposed measure would combine the two existing districts and extend protection to some currently unprotected homes, creating a new, single fire protection district. If the proposed district (Pleasant Hill Goshen Rural Fire Protection District) is created, the two existing districts (Pleasant Hill Rural Fire Protection District and Goshen Rural Fire Protection District) would be dissolved.
The full Economic Feasibility Statement is available on the District’s website at pleasanthillgoshenfire.org.
The new district rate would replace the rates for taxpayers in each of the existing districts. The amount of increase for any individual taxpayer would depend on where they currently reside and the assessed value of their property.
The current rate in Pleasant Hill is $1.10 per $1,000 of assessed property value, and in Goshen is $1.72 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The most recent estimates based on median assessed values show an increase of $25.48 per month for the owner of a home assessed at $277,948 in Pleasant Hill and an increase of $9.48 per month for the owner of a home assessed at $236,858 in Goshen.
If passed, the proposed Pleasant Hill-Goshen Rural Fire Protection District would cost homeowners $2.20 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The owner of a home assessed at $277,869 would pay about $51 per month or $611 per year for the new district, and the current fire districts would be dissolved.
If the Measure does not pass, the proposed District would not be formed, the existing Districts would not be dissolved and property taxes would not be increased.
If passed, the proposed measure would authorize a permanent tax to fund fire and rescue services. A permanent rate sets the limit of the tax rate per thousand dollars of assessed value established for a local district and can’t be changed by the district or its voters. This is the maximum that could be charged, based on a vote each year by the elected Board.
In contrast, a bond only funds buildings and equipment purchases and cannot be used for staffing. A levy can be used for staffing and operations and needs to be renewed at intervals, often every five years.
If the proposed new district and plan are fully implemented, it is expected that response times in Pleasant Hill would decrease by about 5 minutes. If the measure passes, response times in Goshen are also expected to have some reduction because additional resources would be available for overlapping calls and for significant calls that require more than one resource.
The new district would strive to have a total of two crews on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with one serving the Pleasant Hill/Jasper community and one serving the Goshen community.
If the measure passes, the new district would continue a combination of career and volunteer staff members. Estimates of the ratio of career paid staff to volunteers would be 1 career member to every 3-4 volunteer members. The proposed new district would remain a primarily volunteer-driven organization.
Would the proposed District pursue grants? If passed and a grant is received would it impact the tax rate?
Grants are typically only available for specific projects and can be highly competitive. When they become available and if the district qualifies, the district would typically pursue them. Those grant dollars would only be directed to the specific approved purpose. Any savings generated by the grants would be invested in the priorities of improving fire and emergency services as determined by the elected district board.
If there are significant ongoing cost savings in the future, the board could opt to collect less fire taxes than the full authorized amount.
All existing staff and
volunteers in the two Districts would transfer to the new District when it is formed.
If passed, would there be any period of time where the two current districts might have no fire and emergency protection?
No, if the measure passes, the new fire district and newly elected board of directors would be created at the same time as the existing districts are being dissolved. The staff, equipment, and resources would transfer from the existing districts to the new district.
The November 2023 ballot will provide an opportunity to vote for 5 people to be elected to serve as the initial directors for the new district. Their election would be contingent on the passage of the measure to create the district. If the measure passes, these newly-elected directors would take office when the new district is officially formed and would be assigned dates for initial terms of office. Future directors would be elected at appropriate elections as terms expire.
The existing Pleasant Hill Station was not designed for the current model, which provides on-duty firefighters and EMTs in the station 24/7, ready to quickly respond to emergencies. There are currently no personnel living quarters to house on-duty personnel, and the station is missing other important elements that impact response times and responder safety. Additionally, the station was not constructed to meet current seismic standards.
If the Measure passes, what would be the construction process for the new Pleasant Hill Fire Station?
The current board has been working with an architect on plans for the new station so that construction could begin as soon as funding is available. If the proposed measure passes and the district is formed, the current plan is to break ground on the new station in 2024. If the proposed measure does not pass, the fire station project would not move forward.
The Insurance Services Office provides a scoring system that rates how a fire department performs in their community. Scores range from 1 to 10, with 10 being low and indicating no fire protection. A fire department’s score is based on factors such as response times, staffing, available equipment, and service to the community. In 2017, when the collaborative Fire Authority was created, both fire districts improved to a score of 4. Some insurance companies use the ISO rating as a factor when setting homeowner insurance rates.