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Gary Hatch
Hellsgate fire chief

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Hellsgate Fire faces layoffs

Even after property tax rise, 10% shortfall looms

Facing a $176,000 deficit next year, the Hellsgate Fire Department is asking for the maximum increase in its assessed property tax. If the 9.8 percent increase is approved, the department will still face a $92,000 shortfall in its nearly million-dollar budget. Without a federal grant to help cover the difference, the department will have to lay off four engineers, said Fire Chief Gary Hatch.

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