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Measure B a life-saver

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As homeowners in Newcastle for the last 33 years, we are supporting Measure B to save the fire district. Placer County has determined that Newcastle’s only fire station is unsafe, forcing our on-duty firefighters to sleep in a nearby trailer. With current revenues, the Newcastle Fire Protection District (NFPD) cannot build a replacement fire station and meet district expenses. Due to the low tax base in Newcastle, recent efforts to combine with neighboring fire districts have been refused by those districts. If Measure B does not pass, the NFPD board will be forced to dissolve the entire fire district. Closure of the Newcastle Fire Department would mean longer response times for fire and medical calls. The greater distance and response times would also lead to an increase in our fire insurance rates. Because property tax rates have been frozen for special districts since 1978 when Proposition 13 passed, it was not possible for the district to receive sufficient revenue to set aside funds to build a new station based solely on the assessed taxes. Nearby fire districts have already or are now pursuing assessment measures (similar to Measure B) to make up this revenue shortfall. Passage of Measure B requires a two-thirds approval. We believe Measure B is critical to maintaining fire protection, safety, and property values in our community. Please join us in marking your ballot “yes” on Measure B. GARY FAY and LESLIE GRAY, Newcastle