Fire district prepares to move to headquarters in Monroe

CLEARVIEW — By early August, Snohomish County Fire District 7 could move to new headquarters in Monroe.

The Clearview-based district merged with Monroe’s fire department last year. Just a few housekeeping matters remain: establishing new headquarters, reducing the number of elected commissioners and consolidating the levies.

Both departments were short on office space before the merger, and District 7 was using a construction trailer for overflow, spokeswoman Heather Chadwick said.

“This is a big piece of bringing everything together,” she said.

The district last year purchased a $2.2 million building at 953 Village Way in Monroe. That’s next door to Fire Station 31. The two-story building has about 20,000 square feet. All but 5,000 is leased long-term to other tenants. The district inherited those leases.

The remodeling started in early May. The cost is estimated at $500,000, including the office equipment.

Fire department headquarters are a frequent stop for the public, Chadwick said. Visitors ask safety questions, request burn permits, check out loaner life jackets and purchase low-cost helmets for children.

As for the elected leadership, the new larger district started with 10 commissioners. Guy Palumbo resigned in March to focus on being a state Senator. This year’s election cycle will further bring down that number, Chadwick said.

Under state law, District 7 and the old Monroe district will fall under the same levy rate starting in 2018. Voters can expect to see a ballot measure in August, Chadwick said.

The agency serves some 110,000 people. The annual budget is about $29 million.

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

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