Marysville quits fire-department merger talks

Mayor Jon Nehring notified Arlington of the decision in a letter dated Jan. 10.

MARYSVILLE — The city of Marysville is abandoning talks with Arlington about merging fire departments.

The two agencies, along with Fire District 12, have been meeting since 2016. They were considering the formation of a regional fire authority, a new government body that would levy its own taxes and provide fire protection and emergency medical services.

Snohomish County has two fire authorities so far, one in Stanwood and another recently formed in south county.

Public safety consumes a huge portion of local government spending, and the costs are rising. Proponents of consolidations say they save resources and improve services, but the negotiations often snag on politics and local control.

In Marysville, the city has a long-term contract with Fire District 12 to jointly operate the Marysville Fire District. The City Council has indicated plans to continue separate talks with District 12 about what happens next, said Connie Mennie, a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office.

Mayor Jon Nehring notified Arlington of the decision in a letter dated Jan. 10.

The letter was shared with Arlington’s council members, said Kristin Banfield, a city spokeswoman. The topic is likely to come up at a council workshop on Monday, she said. Arlington officials will continue to explore their options for working with others around them, she said.

Leaders at the Marysville Fire District still believe a regional fire authority is the best option, Fire Chief Martin McFalls said in a prepared statement. They anticipate additional conversation, he said.

The Marysville firefighters union, Local 3219, also supports a fire authority, said Dean Shelton, the secretary-treasurer. He believes it would bring a more sustainable funding model. Additional firefighters are needed, along with fire station improvements, he said, citing the rapid growth in Marysville and Smokey Point, which includes parts of Marysville and Arlington.

“The RFA should be about better service to the community and less about governance,” he said.

Under state law, forming a fire authority requires a vote from the elected leaders of the involved agencies, followed by a public ballot measure. This coming May was supposed to be the deadline for Marysville and Arlington to submit an item for the August primary election.

The Arlington Fire Department’s budget in 2017 was $6.4 million, including emergency medical services. The Marysville Fire District was budgeted at $18.4 million last year.

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

Talk to us

More in Local News

25 years later, they still hope to find their daughter’s body

For her parents, detectives and prosecutors, it’s less a whodunit than a question: Where’s Tracey Brazzel?

Homeowner allegedly shoots, kills burglar in Everett

The homeowner, in his 70s, reportedly heard noise and confronted a burglar, in his 30s.

Boeing cutting more than 12,000 jobs with layoffs, buyouts

The company said it will lay off 6,770 workers this week, and another 5,520 are taking buyouts.

Everett man identified as victim of deadly gunfire at party

William Thomas Harper III, 28, was shot to death Sunday. His alleged assailant is jailed.

2 more sentenced in killing of Everett homeless man

Three people were involved in a robbery during which Michael Boone was tied to a tree and left to freeze.

Registration open for drive-thru virus testing in Snohomish

Tests will be administered Thursday at the Sno-Isle Libraries branch on Maple Avenue.

Worst jobless rate in the state: Snohomish County at 20.2%

In April, 91,383 were unemployed in the county. The aerospace sector was hit especially hard.

Burglary suspect identified after fatal Everett break-in

A homeowner shot the man Thursday morning. The slain man had served much of his adulthood in prison.

After 3 weeks in hospital, Marysville man dies from gunshot

Joshua M. Klick, 31, was shot during a reported burglary in Arlington, according to police.

Most Read