EFR costs could rise if Sammamish leaves agency
October 22, 2009
By Dan Catchpole
Eastside Fire & Rescue is planning a special meeting in November to discuss concerns about fire protection costs and plans for the group’s possible expansion.
Sammamish is considering leaving the regional fire agency, according to City Manager Ben Yazici.The city’s exit could drive up costs for the remaining members — North Bend, Issaquah, and Fire Districts 10 and 38, according to EFR staff.
Sammamish has been formally reviewing leaving EFR since April, according to Yazici.
The meeting will also cover requests to join the group from fire districts covering Duvall and Fall City.
A date for the meeting has not been set. EFR Board Chairman Ron Pedee described the proposed meeting as an opportunity for elected officials from all five of EFR’s partners – and local residents – to join in a frank discussion about the future of Sammamish’s fire protection service.
“We would like to keep the present partnership together in its current form,” North Bend’s City Administrator, Duncan Wilson, said.
By partnering together, the members are able to spread costs around. Those costs rise with fewer members, but the increase probably wouldn’t be enough to cause North Bend to leave, he said.
The city has not analyzed potential rising costs.
It is still waiting for a proposal from Fire District 38 on building a new, co-owned and operated fire station to replace the existing one in North Bend.