Car fee, fire and roads measures passing

Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat

A trio of local ballot measures facing Calaveras County voters were faring well in Tuesday night's unofficial results.

Needing two-thirds of the vote for approval, a countywide measure to maintain a $1 vehicle licensing fee to remove nuisance junk vehicles, a renewal of spending approvals for Copperopolis fire and paramedic services and an increase in parcel fees to improve roads in the Circle XX subdivision were each polling better than 70 percent.

The future of the county's Abandoned Vehicle Abatement Program, which brings in about $60,000 annually to the county's Code Enforcement Office for removal of abandoned vehicles in public rights-of-way, other public lands and also private property, hinged on the Measure B vote.

Approved by a 1992 Board of Supervisors resolution, it had to go to a vote following passage of the statewide Proposition 26 in 2010.

An estimated 7,000 vehicles have been abated through the program.

"It's been a very successful program and continues to be successful," Code Enforcement Officer Todd Barr said. "We've made quite an impact."

It led with 12,385 "yes" votes (70.9 percent) to 5,078 (29.1 percent) against at the end of Tuesday's counts.

Measure C asked Copperopolis Fire Protection District voters whether or not to spend up to $550,000 collected from parcel taxes to support fire and paramedic services.

The district relied on an effort to inform voters that the measure did not constitute a new fee but a renewal of previous approval of a vital service.

"Measure C is not a new tax or a tax increase. By approving Measure C, your taxes will not be increased in any way, but the Copperopolis Fire Protection District will be allowed to spend the taxes that have already been approved and collected," Copperopolis Fire Chief Steve Kovacs said in a prepared statement. "If Measure C is not passed … this may mean the loss of the paramedic services and the potential loss of firefighter positions. As a result, residents might have to wait for up to 30 minutes for a paramedic response.

The measure was passing Tuesday with 1,426 votes in favor (76.1 percent) and 447 "no" votes (23.9 percent).

Measure D seeks to increase an annual parcel fee from $300 to $400 to continue maintaining and improving roads in the small Circle XX Community Services District off Pool Station Road.

All funds raised will go directly to private contractors to fix roads as the district has an all-volunteer board and no paid staff, district board member Debbie Caldwell said.

"Oil has gone up," she said. "The price of fixing the road has gone up."

Measure D showed strong support Tuesday night with 83 "yes" votes (78.3 percent) and 23 "votes" (21.7 percent).

Contact Sean Janssen at sjanssen@uniondemocrat.com or 890-7741.

11883773
The Union Democrat
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