Election: Measure B ahead in polls

Preliminary results showed Measure B’s Resort Improvement District tax leading among Shelter Cove and Whitethorn voters.

According to the unofficial election night final report posted to the Humboldt County Elections website at 10:24 p.m. Tuesday, 69.28 percent of votes counted are in favor of the special tax.

“So far I’m happy, I’m excited,” Hargrave said after the unofficial election night first report was posted. “Obviously I hope this passes.”

District clerk Phillip Young was excited to hear the preliminary result but didn’t count any chickens before they hatched.

“I think that’s pretty close because I think we need a two-thirds majority on this,” he said.

Special taxes need two-thirds approval to pass.

“That’s a razor-thin margin,” Young said about the measure’s early lead.

Assistant Fire Chief Cheryl Anthony shared his trepidation.

“We felt like we did [have the support] but we are never sure because people can say one thing then go the other way,” she said.

If approved, registered voters within Resort Improvement District No. 1 would pay increased parcel tax rates.

“We’re basically a community services district,” Resort Improvement District No. 1 board member Jac Hargrave said about the district which provides power, water, sewer and fire protection services.

The revenue of the taxes are slated to go toward funding more fire protection and emergency services throughout the district.

“So far I’m happy, I’m excited,” Hargrave said after the unofficial election night first report was posted. “Obviously I hope this passes.”

Hargrave said the money would be crucial to ensuring Shelter Cove fire fighters stay trained and are well equipped to deal with the increasing calls for service and population growth in the district.

“The first district is in need of a new fire house,” Hargrave said.

The fire house needs more storage, Young said.

“A fire house expansion is at the top of the list,” he said.

The department could also use some new fire apparatuses, Young said.

“The equipment is all dated. I think our youngest engine is 14 or 16 years old,” he said.

“A couple of our engines are older than many of our firefighters; it’s embarrassing,” Anthony said.

The recommendation is to use engines less than a decade old, Young added.

The current parcel tax is $25 every fiscal year per parcel no matter the use. Under this measure owners of parcels used for residential dwellings would pay $125 every fiscal year, parcels used for commercial residential or commercial building would pay $250 per fiscal year and parcels that have vacant residential or commercial structures would pay $99 per fiscal year.

The new tax rate is to be re-evaluated every 10 years if approved.

Even if the numbers flip and this measure fails by the time the final results are out, the Shelter Cove and Whitethorn communities will still be served by the Resort Improvement District No. 1, board member David Sommer said.

“It would still be a fire department but what they could do would be greatly decreased,” he said.

Sommer said he was surprised to hear the margin was so close on Tuesday night but he remained hopeful.

“I think the people here understand how important the fire department is to them,” he said.

More district information is available at sheltercove-ca.gov. Up to date results are available at humboldtgov.org/Archive.aspx?ADID=1188.

Hunter Cresswell can be reached at 707-441-0506.

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