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Local News

Voters Approve Measure to Fund Montecito Fire District

Montecito voters passed Measure N-2014 on Tuesday, overriding Proposition 4 limits and granting the Montecito Fire Protection District the authority to continue spending tax revenue through 2018.

The mail-ballot election concluded at 8 p.m. Tuesday, with the measure being approved by 92 percent of the voters, according to preliminary results that can be found at the county clerk’s website.

The results of a final hand count will be announced later this week.

Just under 20 percent of Montecito voters turned out for the election.

Battalion Chief Chip Hickman said he was thankful deep cuts to the district's budged wouldn't have to be made thanks to voter approval. 

"I was ecstatic to see the measure pass by such a wide margin," he said. "It would have been a big loss to the district. I'm pleased we can continue to provide our services as we have thus far."

Under article XIII B of Proposition 4, voters have the authority to make changes to the spending limit for revenues approved for the district. Every 4 years, voters must renew the district’s ability to spend revenues.

The projected fire protection budget for the 2014-15 year, which began July 1, is just over $14 million.

If the measure had failed, the district's ability to provide services could have been aversely affected.

The last time a Prop. 4 override passed was in 2010. The measure has been successfully overridden every time it's come up for a vote since its inception in 1987, according to Hickman.

Noozhawk intern Shaun Kahmann can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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