Evergreen residents approved a mill levy increase this week to support the local fire department, a year after a similar request was shot down.
According to the Flathead County Election Department, the final results of the mail-in election were 1,060 votes for and 868 votes against.
The new levy is set at 37.72 mills and will bring in approximately $631,500 the first year to pay for staff and equipment. The levy means that a property owner with a home worth $100,000 will pay about $50.93 annually. The new levy rate will last 10 years.
The new mill levy is 29.48 mills higher than the current one, which is set to expire on June 30. In 2014, voters in the fire district approved a five-year levy providing about $145,000 annually. Currently, people with a home valued at $100,000 pay just under $12 annually.
The levy increase comes as Evergreen’s firefighters are dealing with more calls. In the last decade, there has been a 224 percent increase in calls. In 2018, the fire department responded to 2,935 calls, or about eight calls per day. The increased mill levy will allow the department to replace aging equipment and give raises to its EMTs and paramedics.