Brier, Mountlake Terrace voters back joining South County Fire

About 80% of ballots counted Tuesday night in Brier and over 91% in Mountlake Terrace supported the annexation.


MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Voters in Brier and Mountlake Terrace were backing annexation into South County Fire in the first ballot count Tuesday night.

About 80% of ballots returned by Brier residents supported joining the regional fire authority.

In Mountlake Terrace, over 91% voted for the measure.

“I’m ecstatic,” Mountlake Terrace City Council member and Mayor Kyoko Matsumoto-Wright said. “I just want to thank the voters for believing in what we had to do.”

Both cities currently contract with South County Fire for emergency medical services and fire protection. Their agreements were coming to an end, and both cities faced steep cost increases to potentially renew those deals or form their own departments.

Brier and Mountlake Terrace council members put annexation before their voters in the special election, hoping to get ahead of their contracts’ expiration dates with time to try again if it failed.

A simple majority is needed for the annexations.

Mountlake Terrace leaders said joining the fire authority was the best option because it keeps the same service provider for an estimated $395 a year for an average homeowner. The Mountlake Terrace City Council voted to lower its property taxes to offset some of the added cost of joining the fire authority.

“We just thought that was the fair thing to do,” Matsumoto-Wright said.

Almost 30% of ballots in Brier and just over 20% in Mountlake Terrace were returned in the first count.

South County Fire serves an area with around 300,000 residents in Lynnwood, Mill Creek and unincorporated areas south of Everett, as well as Brier, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace which have service contracts. Over 325 firefighters work for South County Fire.

Ben Watanabe: 425-339-3037;; Twitter: @benwatanabe.

Talk to us

More in Local News

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

Craig Hess (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)
Sultan’s new police chief has 22 years in law enforcement

Craig Hess was sworn in Sep. 14. The Long Island-born cop was a first-responder on 9/11. He also served as Gold Bar police chief.

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A suspected hit and run crash Wednesday morning left a pedestrian dead on I-5 north near Marysville. (Washington State Patrol)
Suspected hit and run crash on I-5 near Marysville leaves 1 dead

State patrol responded to reports of a body on the right shoulder of I-5. Two lanes were closed while troopers investigated.

Representative Rick Larsen speaks at the March For Our Lives rally on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Larsen: ‘Fractured caucus’ of House Republicans is ‘unable to lead’

Following removal of the House speaker, a shutdown still looms. Congress has until Nov. 17 to devise a spending plan.

Spada Lake is seen from Culmback Dam on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, near Sultan, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Helicopter crash in Copper Lake sparks environmental, health concerns

Rangers hadn’t heard of fly-in tourism in the area — which can harm the wilderness and people downstream, advocates say.

Man charged with dealing fentanyl pills that led to Arlington overdose

Prosecutors charged Robin Clariday with controlled substance homicide. He allegedly handed Bradley Herron the pills outside a hotel.

Seattle woman identified in fatal Highway 99 crash

Elena Mroczek, 74, was killed Sunday in a crash involving a 19-year-old.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Rival gang members charged with killing Everett boy, 15, at bus stop

The two suspects are accused of premeditated first-degree murder in the death of Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Witnesses contradict gunman’s account of killing Monroe prison officer

Dylan Picard, 22, was driving on South Machias Road when Dan Spaeth approached his car to slow it down to avoid hitting a deer.