Elections Information

Proposed Grants Pass Fire District Boundary District BoundaryFire Rescue Services District

On November  5, 2019, the voters will decide whether or not to create a Fire Rescue Services District. 


Proposed Fire District Information

If approved by vote, the Grants Pass Fire Rescue Services District would provide a permanent funding solution for Public Safety’s delivery of service and would allow the City to eliminate the temporary funding of the Public Safety Levy.

  • Grants Pass Council originally adopted the objective of creating a Fire Rescue Services District in January 2016 due to:
    • The reduction of funds allocated to the County Jail and Juvenile Detention facilities that initiated the City’s Jail Utility Fee.   
    • If voter approved, the opportunity to provide permanent funding for City Public Safety services.
  • Matrix Consulting awarded contract to assess the feasibility and provided a report in September of 2016
  • Feasibility study focused on forming a Fire Rescue Services District, which, if approved would start out with a boundary the same as the City limits boundary
  • If passed, the District would provide the same level of service currently provided by the City.
  • If passed, the District would continue to use the equipment currently used by the City.
  • If voters approved the District, all current City Fire Rescue staff would transition over to the new District
  • In addition to asking voters to consider district formation and the proposed tax rate of $2.03 per $1,000 of assessed value, the governing authority for the proposed district would be a five-member district board, which the voters would elect from a slate of candidates on the same ballot as the Grants Pass Fire Rescue District.
  • If the district is formed, the permanent tax rate could never be increased per state constitutional law
  • If the district is approved, based on financial projections, current funding levels would support the district.  

The district would provide a permanent funding solution for the City’s Public Safety System.

  • Consistent budget for the Fire District would allow the department to implement long range planning and purchases which could sustain the level of Fire Rescue services provided. 
  • If district is approved by voters, City’s Police and Fire Public Safety Levy at $1.79 per $1,000 of assessed value would be discontinued.
  • Budget management would be separate from the City.
  • Would provide consistent governance and management.

If the district is approved, the following services would be impacted: 

  • Grants Pass Fire Rescue would continue to provide the same 24/7 level of services as provided today:
    • Structural and wildland fire suppression
    • Advanced emergency medical care
    • Technical rescue
    • Student firefighter program
    • Fire and life safety prevention / public education services.

If the district is approved, the Financial Projections would be as follows:

  • If approved, an additional assessment of $2.03 per $1,000 of assessed value would be implemented.
    • The City would discontinue the $1.79 per $1,000 of assessed value Public Safety Levy.
  • The District would include at formation all properties in City limits plus Service & Annexation agreement properties – all properties that are currently paying for and receiving Police and Fire services:  102 unincorporated properties currently have service & annexation agreements with the City and are already paying the equivalent of City property tax rates for those services.
  • District at formation would have all the same taxpayers as the City, therefore it’s assumed that all specific assets and equipment belonging to the Fire Rescue Division would be donated to the new Fire District
    • Fire apparatus
    • Fire facilities
    • Cash balances set aside by the Fire Rescue division in the City Equipment Replacement Fund
  • One full time equivalent (FTE) increase in total Fire Rescue Staff compared to City staffing, however slightly lower total personnel costs as compared to being a division of Grants Pass Public Safety
  • Lower Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) rates due to being a new independent district would save about $233,000 per year for a new district compared to City of Grants Pass rates (firefighters in Oregon are required to be on PERS or similar plan)
  FY18 Property Tax Rates FY19 Property Tax Rates FY20 Property Tax Rates FY21 Projected Property Tax Rates
City Permanent Rate
Public Safety Levy
Public Safety Bond Levy
Proposed Grants Pass Fire District
Total Tax Rate
$5.9235 $6.1635

If the measure does not pass, the additional assessment of $2.03 per $1,000 of assessed value would not be made, the district would not be formed, and the changes discussed above would not be implemented.