City Council unanimous in support of continued fire service through Station 83
October 29, 2013
By Peter Clark
Joining with Eastside Fire & Rescue, the Issaquah City Council lodged its support for Fire Station 83. Unanimously, the council decided to support Fire District 10’s resolution passed Oct. 3, declaring its wish for the first right to purchase Fire Station 83 from Sammamish should that city decide to leave EFR and close the station.
“The city desires to make a policy statement and answer the question regarding levers of service to area served by Station 83 and be willing to partner with District 10 to purchase this station if it became available,” the agenda bill read.
The move was an attempt to assuage fears of a decrease in fire service for the area, particularly in the Klahanie area. Should Sammamish leave EFR and close the station, which it owns, the region would be left without nearby fire support. Issaquah’s resolution would assist with a speculative purchase to ensure continued service for residents.
“The city is committed to providing the current level of fire and emergency services through the Eastside Fire & Rescue partnership within the city and the Klahanie PAA if it were to annex to the city of Issaquah,” the passed resolution read. “The city is supportive of Fire District 10 purchasing the current Station 83 at present market value and is willing to contribute the city’s fair share to the acquisition of this station by Fire District 10.”
Council members gladly endorsed the measure as a way to allay present and future concerns around a potential annexation.
“I think it’s a sign of really good faith that should these events unfold that we take proactive steps to do the best possible job,” Councilman Paul Winterstein said. “I’m proud to say that District 10, Issaquah and EFR are living up to the commitment we made during this annexation process.”
Councilman Joshua Schaer disapproved of Sammamish’s notion to leave the consortium.
“I want to go on record that I just think its silly and counterproductive for one of the partners to withdraw from EFR,” he said. “I think it’s not a good road to travel down and I’m glad we’re a partner.”
Providence Point, located just southeast of Fire Station 83, was another consideration for the council, which wished to send a message that the residents there would continue to receive the current level of fire support.
“We still have to do something for the Providence Point area,” Councilman Joe Forkner said. “I think the idea is to leave the options open, at least to provide service to the Providence Point area if Klahanie doesn’t happen.”
Council President Fred Butler agreed.
“I think this also sends a strong message to our citizens in Providence Point who have voiced concerns,” he said. “We’re serious about maintaining the appropriate level of service.”