Out of 370 votes cast, 175 said yes to a nine-cent operating levy increase and 195 said no. Approximately 10.34 percent of 3,577 registered voters in the four precincts involved turned out to cast a ballot.

With a difference of just 20 votes between those in favor and those against, the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District levy proposition on the Aug. 8 ballot failed.

Out of 370 votes cast, 175 said yes to a nine-cent operating levy increase and 195 said no. Approximately 10.34 percent of 3,577 registered voters in the four precincts involved turned out to cast a ballot.

The additional $290,000 that the extra nine cents per $100 of assessed valuation would have provided annually was intended to fund two additional firefighter positions as well as boost savings for the district’s equipment and apparatus replacement program. 

More firefighters would have allowed the department to keep its second manned station on Shawnee Bend open all of the time. Currently, it has to close periodically if the district has personnel out.

The district board of directors had also promised not to ask for any additional operating levy or bond funds for the next 10 years if this measure had passed. Bond propositions on future ballots to purchase apparatus such as engines or aerial trucks as they age out of service may now be an option for the district.

Having personnel at the Spruce Road station house, where many of the district’s calls originate, allows the department to respond to the scene of incidents in the area more quickly, according to district response time data analysis. The difference averages around eight minutes or under compared to 13 or more.

The district responded to 720 calls for service last year and just had a record-setting July with more than 100 calls for service during the month.