A majority of Mercer Island residents in early vote tallies support Mercer Island Proposition 1 for rebuilding Mercer Island Fire Station 92, on the Island's South-end, and the purchase of a new fire rescue truck.
Results from King County Elections for the Nov. 6 general election shows a 13-percent lead, with 4,849 votes (56.48 percent) counted in favor of the property tax levy and 3,735 (43.51 percent) opposed.
Former Mercer Island Mayor Jim Pearman, who suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 2011 and helped begin the planning process by funding the design of a new fire station, said the city had known for over a decade that Station 92 needed investment.
"This is kind of the last major capital thing that the city needs to do," he said. "It's such a vital thing for the South-end of the Island and important to the integrated fire system. I think people understood that."
The city has long sought the replacement of the station, calling it inadquate for current needs and structurally unsound in the event of a mjor earthquake. Critics point to the fact that the station survived the Nisqually earthquake in 2001, call previous studies calling for the station's replacement too narrowly focused and oppose the financing of a new truck through a new tax levy (go here for an in-depth look at the city's planning for replacing the 50-year-old fire station).
The ballot measure would authorize a levy lid-lift for nine years of up to $0.086 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which would raise approximately $5.22 million for construction of the new fire station and purchase of a fire rescue truck. For an in-depth analysis on the details of Fire Station 92, see this Q&A with City Finance Director Chip Corder.
Construction on the station and the purchase of a new rescue truck would take place in 2013. Based on current tax rates, the cost to a home owner would be approximately $60.20 per year for a home valued at $700,000 home (the city's current median) and $86 per year for a $955,000 home (the city's current average) through 2021.
For more on federal and statewide races in the Nov. 6 general election, click here. For more on King County and local races, click here. Patch will update results in the coming days.Proposition No. 1, City Fire Station, Truck Levy Lid-Lift
Ballots Cast/Registered Voters17,607/ 8,584 CandidateVoteVote % Approve
4,849 56.48% Reject