November 27, 2012
Eastside Fire & Rescue funding change will impact taxpayers
Eastside Fire & Rescue partners — including the city of Issaquah and Fire District 10 serving areas outside the Issaquah city limits — are getting creative in their hopes of finding a more equitable funding model before the partnership contract expires in 2014.
The city of Sammamish is driving the push. Leaders there contend that city taxes are too high for the number of emergency response calls in Sammamish. Without some relief, the city will look to other providers for fire service, namely Redmond.
The EFR consortium doesn’t work as well without Sammamish, although it could. EFR already operates on a barebones budget. Take away a big chunk of the service area and the partnership is weakened, even though service may not be compromised.
What’s evident is that one of the EFR partners will have to pay more for fire service if another pays less. At first glance, the city of Issaquah is most likely to pay more, based on daytime and resident populations, commercial square footage, building heights, number of aid calls, and any other perspective EFR leadership might conjure up.
Issaquah taxpayers, you might want to pay attention as the EFR conversation unfolds in the months ahead. This one is all about you.