Grays Harbor Fire District 5 levy passing

According to an initial count, the Grays Harbor Fire District No. 5 levy has 61.46 percent approval among voters. The emergency medical services six-year regular levy needed at least 60 percent to pass. There have been 885 votes cast in favor of the levy and 555 against.

District 5 Chief Dan Prater said while the final count is not in, he was very optimistic about the outcome of the election.

“My phone blew up,” Prater said. “It’s historic for Grays Harbor Fire District 5.”

Prater added that the fire district has had to do without necessary improvements to equipment while answering more and more EMS calls.

“This helps us in our struggles to be financially stable,” Prater said. “We have had to build our relationship with the voters and the community. We’ve changed — we’re more accountable and we’re making things better.”

The EMS Levy rate is 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation and would be collected beginning in 2017. The levy is expected to net about $280,000 per year for the fire district, with funds used for improvements to equipment, supplies and staffing.

“We are so appreciate of everyone who voted — without them, we wouldn’t be here,” Prater said.