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By Will Fritz
Associate Editor 

North County Fire again pushes back timeline for Prop A results announcement

 

Last updated 11/30/2019 at 12:50am



North County Fire Protection District officials again pushed back the timeline for when results may be available for the district's special election for Proposition A, Nov. 22.

The fire district initially said the outcome of the election – a referendum on a new tax of $5 per month, per parcel of owned property, to pay for construction, maintenance and improvements to fire stations – would be known by the beginning of November.

Fire officials announced Nov. 1 that it was taking longer to tally up all the votes than they had anticipated, and the outcome would not be known for another two to three weeks.

Almost three weeks after that announcement, Nov. 20, the fire district said the signature verification process for ballots cast in the election was continuing to cause delays, and that ballots will not begin to be tallied before early next month.

Officials now say, however, that it's taking longer to tally all the votes up than they had predicted, and the outcome may not be known for another two to three weeks.

The fire district said in its Nov. 1 announcement that the firm that is counting the votes, David Taussig and Associates, is employing a "comprehensive signature verification" process to verify all of the votes are legitimate.

"This has turned out to require a significant amount of time," NCFPD Chief Stephen Abbott said at the time. "But, well worth the time, since we want to be certain that every detail has been properly addressed in the vote counting process."

Seven of the North County Fire Protection District's 11 facilities – including four of its five fire stations – are nearing or past the end of their originally-intended life span of 50 years, according to a newsletter published by NCFPD ahead of the Proposition A election.

Proposition A must be approved by at least two-thirds of voters participating in the special election to pass.

The new tax, which amounts to $60 per year for all properties in the fire district boundaries, is necessary because many of the district's facilities are outdated, fire officials said. There's a documented need for at least $26.5 million to meet facility standards, fire officials said in a newsletter published ahead of the election.

Seven of NCFPD's 11 facilities – including four of its five fire stations – are nearing or past the end of their originally-intended life span of 50 years, according to the newsletter.

If passed, Proposition A is expected to raise about $1 million per year, or $20 million over the 20 years it will be in effect.

Ballot counting is currently slated to begin at 8 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 10, at NCFPD's Scout Hut, located at 231 E. Hawthorne St. in Fallbrook.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.

 

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