Edmonds, Woodway opt out of regional fire planning group

Edmonds and Woodway have withdrawn from the South County regional fire authority planning process, leaving only the cities of Mountlake Terrace and Brier, and Snohomish County Fire District 1 as active participants.

The planning group meets Wednesday evening at the Lynnwood City Hall.

The Woodway Town Council voted at its Monday meeting to withdraw from planning for the regional authority. The Edmonds City Council made the same decision Tuesday.

Edmonds City Councilman Strom Peterson said Tuesday night that joining a regional fire authority wouldn’t be good for Edmonds taxpayers,

“Quite simply, property taxes would go up when everything was calculated,” he said.

Peterson had been one of three Edmonds representatives to the planning group.

Edmonds and Woodway join Lynnwood, Mill Creek, Mukilteo and Fire District 7 in withdrawing from what had been nine-party talks.

That leaves Brier, Mountlake Terrace and Fire District 1 in planning for what could become a new government entity to provide fire service for the area,

The Mountlake Terrace City Council voted Monday to continue active participation in the planning process.

Representatives of the seven cities and two fire districts had been holding planning meetings for two years.

After Mill Creek representatives announced their withdrawal from the group at a Jan. 9 meeting, representatives of the other cities and fire districts decided to get answers from each city council or district board about who would continue in the planning process by the group’s Wednesday, Feb. 6, meeting.

Brier, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Woodway all get fire service by contract with Fire District 1.

Participants in the planning group have talked of having a proposal for voters on the August ballot.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com

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