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Edmonds City Council: Regional Fire Authority Too Expensive for Taxpayers

The city council withdrew it's participation in planning for a Regional Fire Authority, saying the price tag is too high for local residents and businesses.

Even if the city of Edmonds returned its potential $3 million a year savings to taxpayers via a reduced property tax levy, taxpayers would end up footing a higher bill if the city joined the Regional Fire Authority the way it's currently proposed.

"Overall, taxes and fees to citizens and businesses would increase $3.5 million," Finance Director Shawn Hunstock told the council.

The council members unanimously voted to withdraw from the plan, with the caveat that it will continue to participate in the process. Meanwhile, council members expressed a desire to maintain the level of service Edmonds is guaranteed under its current contract with Fire District 1.

Mayor Dave Earling praised the work that Fire District 1 has done in preparing the background information during the process and said the city still thinks a regional fire authority could be a possibility in the future.

Edmonds withdrawal follows on the heels of a similar decision by Woodway this week, following earlier withdrawals by Fire Dist. 7, Mukilteo, and Mill Creek.

Do you agree with the city's decision? Tell us in the comments

Diane B February 07, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Thank you Shawn for all the great work you have done for the City of Edmonds. We will miss your expert opinions. I have never liked the concept of the RFA considering the size of it and the number of cities involved. Since Edmonds, along with Woodway (who also voted it down) has some of the highest property values, Edmonds' citizens would have suffered. Of course, the latest from the RFA was that property values don't count and so the continued confusion over the numbers continues. It was the only fiscally responsible thing to do.

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