Gold Bar, Stanwood fire departments seek to solidify services

GOLD BAR — Two Snohomish County fire departments have measures on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

Fire District 26, in Gold Bar, is seeking $950,000 in bonds for three projects related to buildings and equipment. The North County Regional Fire Authority, based in Stanwood, is asking voters to make permanent its emergency medical services levy. Otherwise, the levy requires a vote every six years. Ballots were mailed out last week.

The proposed bonds for Gold Bar would cost property owners an estimated 22 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. For example, the owner of a $200,000 house would pay about $44 a year.

Fire District 26 would use some of the money to purchase a 1.4-acre property next to Station 54 along U.S. 2. The property would be used to create a training center, Fire Chief Eric Andrews said. For now, the department’s training takes place in the parking lot. The property they have in mind has an assessed value of $111,400, county records show.

Gold Bar has no full-time firefighters and relies on volunteer and part-time crews. The district offers training and experience to draw those folks, many of whom are later hired full-time at other departments, Andrews said.

“We believe by having the best training possible, more people will want to come to Gold Bar and work in that part-time, volunteer-type environment,” he said.

The second part of the bond is to add sleeping quarters at Fire Station 53, at 501 Lewis Ave, in Gold Bar.

“We want to be able to staff that station at night in the future, because our call loads are increasing,” Andrews said. “Right now pretty much everything at night comes from the other station.” The third piece of the bond would replace a 1996 fire engine.

Meanwhile, the North County Regional Fire Authority wants to make permanent its current medical services levy, which collects about 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

The levy draws an estimated $935,880 a year. The majority of the district’s calls are for medical emergencies, not fires.

“The EMS levy stabilizes funding for our most widely used service,” Fire Chief John Cermak said.

The proposed levy change will help the district serve a growing community with an aging population, Cermak said. The revenue goes toward medical staffing and equipment, including new, potentially life-saving technologies. Each time they run a six-year levy, it costs up to $22,500 just for the election costs, he said.

“The need and the impact for EMS isn’t going to change,” he said. “We keep seeing increases in call loads on an annual basis. It’s not going away. EMS is not going away.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

High-speed, tire-shredding Marysville chase ends in capture

The 28-year-old driver is now being held for investigation of more than 25 criminal counts.

Election results for Snohomish County school districts

Updated 2/16: Here are the returns for Tuesday’s special election ballot measures.

School levies still passing in 3 districts after latest tally

In the initial count, ballot measures in Lake Stevens, Marysville and Snohomish had been losing.

7-hour police standoff near Lynnwood ends with surrender

Deputies seized a rifle, pellet gun and knife at the scene.

Scattered power outages around region after gusty Saturday

Up to 2 inches of snow could fall in some lowland areas of Snohomish County, forecasters said.

Front Porch

EVENTS Learn about the microgrid Snohomish County PUD plans an open house… Continue reading

Ban on bump-fire stocks makes progress in State House

The Senate approved the bill but would need to vote on any changes made by the House.

We might see snow in the lowlands this weekend

Snow in the mountain passes will definitely be deep, forecasters say.

Most Read