Marysville voters approve Regional Fire Authority

MARYSVILLE – The Regional Fire Authority passed voter approval by 105 votes, according to the tally Thursday night.

With almost all of the ballots counted at 12,545, the measure passed 6,325 to 6,220, or 50.42 percent to 49.58 percent. Only a few ballots are left to be counted.

On election night, the measure was passing only 50.13 percent to 49.87 percent. That lead improved a little bid Wednesday night, with passage at 50.34 percent to 49.66 percent.

The measure needed a simple 50 percent majority to pass. The election will be certified May 3.

The RFA will officially be formed Oct. 1, and taxes will be collected starting in 2020.

The cost of the merger of the Marysville Fire Department and Snohomish County Fire District 12 was set at $1.45 per $1,000 valuation on property. That amounts to $435 a year on a $300,000 home – about $120 a year more than previously.

Fire officials have said that if the measure passes, response times for fire and emergency medical services would improve as they would be able to hire more people to be fully staffed. The RFA would combine equipment, resources, firefighters and EMS workers under one department, reducing duplication of services. That would mean relying less on mutual aid from nearby fire departments, which costs victims money. Taxpayers pay the city for fire service now. If the RFA passes, the city plans to reduce its tax since that would no longer be the case.

The MFD and District 12 have been working together for decades. An RFA solidifies that relationship, improves efficiencies, is more cost-effective and provides more-stable funding and service. It would help meet future growth and increasing service demands, fire officials have said.

The two agencies have not raised taxes since 2007 and have been using reserves to stay afloat. But those reserves are running out. Upgrades have been put on hold.

If it passes, the department’s insurance rating would improve, saving property owners money on fire insurance. And it would also be more responsive to taxpayers, as it would be represented by four Marysville City Council members and one District 12 fire commissioner.

More in News

Clockwise from left: JJ Frank, Darryn Wiersma, Aliana Banks and Josiah Frank talk at the Black Student Union meeting at M-P Wednesday. (Steve Powell/Staff Photo)
New Black Student Union club at M-P wants to work with local police to improve community

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – For many years the national narrative… Continue reading

Lakewood to run just-defeated school levies again in April

LAKEWOOD – The school board voted Feb. 26 to re-run the levies… Continue reading

Deanna Bashour works with homeless students in the Marysville School District to try to connect them with services so they can be successful. (Steve Powell/Staff Photo)
Providing help, hope for homeless students in Marysville schools

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – One child went to school without… Continue reading

39th district lawmakers discuss state issues at mid-session town hall talk

Anti-gun laws, K-12 sex education bill, housing draw local concern

Sex ed bill in Olympia about health and safety or a ‘clear overreach’?

By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service Parents, students and educational professionals voiced… Continue reading

Work continues on Cedar Field with the hope it will be ready for the first day of Little League in late March. (Steve Powell/Staff Photo)
Marysville Little League donates $35K for Cedar Field upgrades

MARYSVILLE – Marysville Little League donated $35,000 to the city Monday to… Continue reading

Arlington school levies, bond recap and look at how you voted

ARLINGTON – This month’s special election in Washington state has had more… Continue reading

Arlington Community Resource Center: We’re open

ARLINGTON – On a recent visit to the Arlington Community Resource Center,… Continue reading

Former mayoral candidate fills City Council vacancy

ARLINGTON – When Don Vanney retired last year and ran for mayor,… Continue reading

Most Read