The Crooked River Ranch Fire & Rescue district will ask voters in November to approve a 20-cent increase in its operating levy.

The district’s board of directors in February approved a motion to ask voters to raise the current rate of 69 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to 89 cents.

The existing levy is scheduled to expire June 30, 2019.

For the past 15 years, the district has supplemented its base tax with an operating levy. This is the first time it has asked for an increase, according to Chief Harry Ward.

“As we looked at our budget and our income over expenses, things weren’t coming together,” Ward said.

Ward said the added revenue will fund insurance premiums, which have increased in recent years, as well as vehicle and facility maintenance, fuel and supplies, including medications.

The district, founded in 1977, has six full-time employees. Last year it responded to 535 calls — a record, according to Ward.

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