Fire commissioners are asking voters to combine the two fire districts into one fire agency that would be called Eastside Fire Authority. The goal is to protect emergency service levels long-term, reduce costs and improve efficiencies for taxpayers. The fire authority would continue to be a partner in Eastside Fire and Rescue, a regional partnership with the cities of North Bend, Issaquah and Sammamish.
The meetings will be held on Wednesday, April 13th at Station 78 (20720 SE May Valley Rd., Issaquah, WA 98027) and Thursday, April 14th at Station 87 (500 Maloney Grove Ave. SE, North Bend, WA 98045). Both meetings will run from 7PM – 8PM.
Fire District 10 serves Carnation and the unincorporated areas of May Valley, Tiger Mountain, Mirrormont, and Preston. Fire District 38 serves the unincorporated areas around North Bend and Snoqualmie.
Under the new fire authority, a majority of the cost to provide emergency services would be funded through a fire levy of $1 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The remaining amount would be collected through a benefit charge, which is set through a public process each year.
The tax rate equivalent of the benefit charge would average $0.49 per $1,000 of assessed value for property owners. This means that property owners in Fire District 10 will see a tax decrease in the amount they pay for fire service starting in 2017.
Property owners in Fire District 38 will see an average increase of $0.20 per $1,000. That would be an increase of $68.20 per year ($5.68 per month) for the average home valued at $341,000. Fire district officials say that this amount is necessary to maintain emergency service levels because the current levy rate of $1.29/$1,000 in Fire District 38 is not sustainable.
More information about the proposed ballot measure can be found on the web pages for Fire Districts 10 and 38 on Eastside Fire and Rescue’s web site at www.eastsidefire-rescue.org.