Eastside Fire & Rescue scales back Issaquah headquarters remodel

October 18, 2011

By Staff

Eastside Fire &Rescue reduced the size of a proposed remodel, and the agency’s board unanimously approved the smaller proposal Sept. 19.

EFR staffers had initially proposed a $500,000 remodel of the facility to include expanding office space, adding storage and putting in a new women’s bathroom on the building’s second floor.

Sammamish, Issaquah and North Bend officials had balked at the extra cost. The Issaquah headquarters technically belongs to Fire District 10, although it is shared by all of the partners in EFR.

Officials questioned paying for a remodel, and then possibly losing the use of the facility, because some EFR partners have made noise about leaving the partnership when it expires in 2014.

EFR staffers had proposed creating an amortization schedule to set how much each partner would be repaid if it left the agency. Such a schedule, however, would require amending the agreement that underpins EFR, a time-consuming process that would require approval by the governing boards of each of the five partner jurisdictions.

At a Sept. 19 meeting, Wes Collins, EFR deputy chief of planning, proposed a $50,000 remodel — simply installing a new women’s bathroom on the second floor of the headquarters building.

Because the new proposal was relatively small, the EFR board agreed to pay for the remodel out of reserve funds, and not bother with changing EFR’s charter.

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