Voters OK Newberg annexations
With a resounding "yes" from more than 90 percent of voters who cast ballots Tuesday, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue can proceed to annex Newberg and the surrounding area of Yamhill County.
Washington County commissioners were compelled to order a special district-wide election, which cost the district an estimated $300,000, after they received petitions with more than the required 100 signatures on Dec. 19.
Voters in Newberg and the former Newberg Rural Fire Protection District approved the annexations to TVF&R back on Nov. 7.
Measure 34-280 (Newberg) and Measure 34-281 (rural district) passed with majorities of 92 percent in the current TVF&R district, which extends from eastern Washington County into northwest Multnomah County and West Linn and Wilsonville in Clackamas County.
The annexations will become official on July 1.
"We are so pleased to conclude this final phase of the annexation process," TVF&R Chief Mike Duyck said in a statement after the vote.
"We are honored to provide high-quality fire and emergency medical services to our communities. I believe the people living in the Newberg area and the region are better served by the system we have all built together."
TVF&R has been serving those areas under contract since mid-2016.
Property owners will pay higher taxes and a share of TVF&R's debt. However, Newberg and the surrounding area are served by full four-person crews around the clock, instead of two-person crews at some times of the day.
The annexations, which add 400 square miles to TVF&R, will enable the district to collect property taxes for the budget year starting July 1. TVF&R would have been unable to collect taxes if the vote had taken place after March 31, which is the deadline for property to be on the tax rolls.