Voters in the Cromberg area approve rate hike for fire protection

Residents of the Long Valley Community Services District (which includes the Cromberg/Sloat areas) approved a rate hike to support their local fire department. Of the district’s 230 registered voters, 121 participated in the Nov. 2 election, voting 101 to 20 to pay an additional $85 per year for fire protection.

The $85 increase (the first since 2005) will take effect in the 2022-23 fiscal year and raise the annual tax to $170. That fee is still less than the average amount other districts in the county receive — and well below the average tax paid by metropolitan property owners in the state.

Measure B will give the Long Valley Fire Department about $39,000 a year. The board said that would cover the budget and help pay for repairs and maintenance to its equipment and the fire house itself, which will soon need a new roof. The firefighters will remain volunteers.

The all-volunteer department, led by Chief Steve Peters, currently has seven firefighters. In an average year Peters said the volunteers respond to nearly 100 calls — about 90 percent of those are medical.