Fire District 3 and Fire District 7 finish merger

MONROE — Snohomish County Fire District 3 in Monroe will soon be gone.

As of Saturday, the district will be merged permanently into Fire District 7, based in Clearview. The two agencies have combined firefighters, administrations and budgets.

New decals and uniform patches are in the works, spokeswoman Heather Chadwick said. The new patches make reference to Monroe and the new partnership.

“We are very excited that it’s going to be official,” she said.

Voters in Monroe approved the merger in the primary election by nearly 81 percent. People who live in and around town aren’t likely to notice any change in services, Chadwick said. The board of commissioners’ meetings will rotate between Monroe and Clearview.

The new larger agency now serves about 110,000 people. The annual budget is about $29 million.

It will retain the name of Fire District 7, Chadwick said. That decision will help keep things simple, though a variety of names was considered, she said.

“Snohomish County Fire District 7 just seems like who we are,” she said.

No fire stations are closing, and firefighter staffing in Monroe is increasing, Chadwick said. Gary Meek will remain fire chief as well. Former Monroe Fire Chief Jamie Silva will become an assistant chief, along with District 7’s Eric Andrews and District 3’s Steve Guptill.

District 7 earlier this month also purchased a building for a new headquarters office.

The new headquarters may open next year at 953 Village Way in Monroe, near Fire Station 31. The building cost $2.2 million.

In addition, the fire department plans open houses from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 9 at Fire Station 71 in Clearview and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 15 at Fire Station 31 in Monroe. The free public events with kid-friendly activities take place during national fire prevention week.

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

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