Thanks to citizens who help Camano Fire & Rescue plan

We’re blessed to live in a beautiful place, and more people are coming to live here. The question for Camano Island Fire & Rescue is how we keep up with that growth — 29 percent more calls for fires and emergencies in the last five years — in ways that are innovative, creative and accountable to the taxpayers.

I want to thank everyone who participated in our Strategic Plan meetings to tackle that question. Your ideas, comments and questions have helped us find solutions. Short-term, this includes hiring additional firefighters to respond to calls and replacing aging apparatus and equipment.

The budget issue is the next step. We’ve always had a balanced budget and looked for ways to stretch a dollar: applying for grants, cutting expenses and sharing resources with fire departments next door. However, we can’t fund these improvements out of existing revenue when we are limited to a 1 percent increase per year by law.

We will discuss the idea of a levy lid lift with our community in the months ahead. In the meantime, thank you again for helping us plan for the future.

Paul Williams

Chairman, Camano Island Fire & Rescue Board of Commissioners

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