January 31, 2012
Fire District 10 station bond makes sense
King County Fire District 10 commissioners are asking voters to approve a construction bond for the first time in nearly two decades. It’s a reasonable request that voters should consider.
It’s a bit confusing, since both the city of Issaquah and Fire District 10 are served by Eastside Fire & Rescue, a cooperative of multiple jurisdictions. But only Issaquah residents outside the city limits pay taxes for fire protection to District 10. City property owners are paying for the new fire station near the Issaquah Transit Center.
If you got a ballot in the mail last week, you live in District 10.
Commissioners are seeking to retire an aging station on the outskirts of the district and build a new one on Southeast May Valley Road, more centrally located for response times. The $5.5 million bond will also make improvements to the district’s three other fire stations and purchase some new equipment.
The district complicated things a bit by releasing wrong information on what the cost of the bond would mean to property taxes. Initially it was stated that the cost would be 9 cents per $100,000 of assessed valuation, but oops! — it is really 9 cents per $1,000. If you own a $400,000 home, the bond will cost about $36 per year for 20 years.
The commissioners understand that this is a tough time to ask voters for more money, but the relocated station makes sense for better fire protection and lower operating costs. It makes no sense to put more funds into improvements for the aging station near Renton.