Voters overwhelmingly approve fire department annexation

Nearly 90% of city voters backed measure merging city into the North County Regional Fire Authority

ARLINGTON — Voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a measure to annex the city’s fire department into the North County Regional Fire Authority.

Proposition 1 passed with 89.7% in Tuesday’s special election. In raw numbers, 2,502 people backed the proposition and 289 opposed it, according to results posted by the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office.

Turnout stood at 22.3% of the city’s registered voters. Results of the next ballot count will be posted Wednesday afternoon.

City leaders viewed joining the regional authority as a way to reduce pressure on the budget without sacrificing emergency services for residents. The annexation, under the measure, will take effect in August.

Once it occurs, property owners will pay a fire and emergency medical service levy to the North County Regional Fire Authority. At the same time, the city would reduce its general property tax levy and repeal its EMS levy and ambulance utility fee.

An analysis by the city forecast more than half of Arlington property owners would pay the same or less for emergency services with annexation, while 28% would pay about $60 more per year and 18% would likely pay more than that, according to the city.

No jobs will be lost, no fire stations will change and firefighters will continue to be involved with the community, city officials have said.

Chief John Cermak will continue to lead the North County Regional Fire Authority with Dave Kraski, Arlington’s fire chief, becoming assistant chief.

Annexation would only affect the Arlington Fire Department, and not Fire District 21, which serves rural Arlington.

Passage of the measure means Mukilteo and Everett will be the only cities in Snohomish County with their own fire departments.

Reporter Jerry Cornfield: jcornfield@heraldnet.com | @dospueblos

Talk to us

More in Local News

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Inslee: The president made me speed up teacher vaccinations

Here’s what’s happening on Day 54 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee speaks with special ed Pre-K teacher Michelle Ling in her classroom at Phantom Lake Elementary School in Bellevue, Wash. Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times via AP, Pool)
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

Frances McDormand in "Nomadland." (Searchlight Pictures) 20210304
Masked in a nearly empty theater, a movie outing at last

Just four of us were in the audience for a matinee showing of “Nomadland” at Stanwood Cinemas.

James Myles walks his 5-month-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi Ellie around Martha Lake Park on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in Lynnwood, Washington. Myles entered Ellie into a contest called Americas Favorite Pet, where she's currently in 2nd place for her group. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Vote for Ellie: Fluffy corgi from Lynnwood vying for top dog

“Her Fluffiness” is competing to be America’s Favorite Pet. The contest raised $300,000 for PAWS last year.

A view of the courtyard leading to the main entrance of the new Stanwood High building on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020 in Stanwood, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Law gives Washington high school seniors leeway to graduate

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that can waive some requirements for students who were on track before the pandemic.

A Marysville Pilchuck football player sports a spear on his helmet as the Tomahawks took on Snohomish in the Wesco 3A Championship Friday evening at Quil Ceda Stadium on November 1, 2019. School district leaders may soon need to consider dropping Marysville Pilchuck High School’s mascot, the Tomahawks. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Should Marysville Pilchuck High drop the name ‘Tomahawks’?

A state bill would ban Native American mascots and symbols from schools — unless there is tribal permission.

Snohomish County Council delays education spending vote

The council is now slated to decide next week on the measure, which targets a pre-K learning gap.

The Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine is prepared for injection Friday at Angel of the Winds Arena. (Snohomish Health District) 20210305
New vaccination site opens at Angel of the Winds Arena

Meanwhile, supply is still an issue now that teachers and child care workers are seeking shots.

Rendering of Islamic Center of Mukilteo
Groundbreaking for the Mukilteo’s first mosque is Saturday

The proposed Islamic Center of Mukilteo was the target of an anti-mosque mailer campaign in 2016.

Most Read