Marysville voters to decide on fire district in April

The city council voted unanimously this week to place the measure on a special election ballot.

MARYSVILLE — Voters can weigh in on fire services during a special election in April.

For more than two decades, the Marysville Fire District has included the city of Marysville and Snohomish County Fire District 12. The two have been working together, but receive money from different places. A “yes” vote to create a Regional Fire Authority would consolidate funds.

The Marysville City Council unanimously voted Monday to place the fire authority request on the April 23 ballot.

The district’s service area would not change. It covers about 60 square miles and includes the city of Marysville, some of the Tulalip Indian Reservation, the Seven Lakes area and more.

The district hasn’t been bringing in enough money to cover its expenses. The ballot proposition could ease that.

“With the current system, we can provide a great service,” said Tom Maloney, the district’s deputy chief and fire marshal. “We can’t continue to provide that service without a different structure.”

The number of annual calls has increased by about 50 percent in the past eight years, and 2017 was the busiest with about 15,000 calls.

The district mostly receives requests for Emergency Medical Services — about 80 percent of all calls. That could be because of an aging population. It means ambulances need to be replaced more often.

“We have some aid cars with over 200,000 miles on them,” Maloney said.

Those who live within the service area would pay $1.45 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. That adds up to about $435 annually for a $300,000 home.

Talks to incorporate a new system have been ongoing and became more serious about two years ago, Maloney said. Others in the county have similar models, such as South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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