By Evan Smith Herald Writer
The city of Lynnwood has withdrawn from active participation in the group planning a regional fire authority for south Snohomish County.
Lynnwood joins Mill Creek, Mukilteo and Snohomish County Fire District 7 in withdrawing from what had been nine-party talks.
That leaves Brier, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Woodway and Fire District 1 in planning for what could become a new government entity to provide fire service for the area,
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 January meeting, representatives of the other groups decided to get answers from each city council or district board about who would continue in the planning process by the group’s Feb. 6, meeting.
The Lynnwood City Council decided Monday that the city would withdraw from active participation in the group but would continue to send observers to meetings.
Council president Loren Simmonds said Wednesday that Lynnwood officials had concluded that the planning group had left too many questions about how the proposed fire authority would be governed and how it would be financed.
He said that, if the remaining communities form a fire authority, Lynnwood might look at participating in a few years,
He noted that Brier, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Woodway all get fire service by contract with Fire District 1 and that those are the remaining communities in the planning process.
Lynnwood and Mukilteo have their own fire departments.
Participants in the planning group have talked of having a proposal for voters on the August ballot.
Evan Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org