News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Idanha-Detroit Fire seeks levy renewal

The Idanha-Detroit Rural Fire Protection District is seeking an extension of its operations levy.

Measure 24-489 is the lone Santiam Canyon measure on what is generally a light Nov. 7 ballot statewide.

The district includes property owners in both Marion and Linn counties.

The levy would continue to charge property owners 68 cents per $1,000 of assessed value and thus does not constitute a tax increase. The levy would cost a property owner whose property is assessed at $300,000 about $205 per year.

The funds will be used by the district to pay for staffers during the peak fire season of May 15 through Sept. 30. With the funds the district would be able to pay two medic-firefighters for 40 hours per week during that time period. 

“This would allow for the quick response of personnel to suppress fire, save lives and property,” district officials said in the summary of the measure in the voters’ pamphlet. 

District officials also noted in the measure’s explanatory statement in the pamphlet that “the district regularly seeks other sources of revenue such as grants, but none of these sources will pay for operations in general. We have been able to purchase personal protective equipment and other supplies through grants. The operational levy is intended to pay for staffing.”

If approved the levy would generate approximately $225,000 over its five-year lifespan.

District officials also noted that when it was established in 1954, its sole mission was the suppression of fire. Today, Idanha-Detroit provides structure fire and wildland fire suppression, motor vehicle crash response, hazardous materials response and emergency medical services. 

By far the majority of the calls the district takes are for emergency medical services, district officials said.

Laura Harris, office administrator/lieutenant with the district added that “almost half of our total call volume for the entire year is during the summer months due to higher fire dangers and the increased amount of tourists and traffic on Highway 22. Having paid staff at the station reduces our response times, and also makes it possible for our volunteers and staff to respond to multiple incidents at once.”

The Nov. 7 election, like all in Oregon, will be conducted via mail-in ballots. County officials were scheduled to begin mailing out ballots on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Ballots must be returned to a Marion or Linn drop site by 8 p.m. on Nov. 7 or postmarked by Nov. 7 and received no later than Nov. 14.

The lone drop site in the Santiam Canyon is at the City Hall in Mill City, 444 S First Ave. Other drop sites are at the Linn County Courthouse in Albany and the Marion County Courthouse in Salem. For the full list of Marion drop sites go to For Linn County go to

If you did not receive your ballot call 800-655-5388 (Marion County) or 541-967-3831.

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