Opinion

City Council wants communication from Fire District

lack of information The following letter was written to the Woodinville Fire District Board of Commissioners, with a request for publication:
   The Woodinville City Council is deeply distressed and concerned with the lack of information being sent from the Board of Fire Commissioners to the City of Woodinville regarding your plans for the new fire station downtown adjacent to the south bypass road. Since the Board of Fire Commissioners has chosen not to communicate with the city, I feel that I must write to relay the City Council's concern.
   We feel that the commissioners' actions in delaying and possibly deleting the station from the Fire District's plans are contrary to the best interests of the city and the residents of greater Woodinville. The only information we have received about this project has been in the Woodinville Weekly newspaper.
   We understand from what we read in the newspaper that the board is taking action to delay or stop this project, even though the Fire District's own consultant determined that a station should be placed in the area where you purchased the land. This consultant recommendation was made even prior to District 42 merging into Fire District 36, the downtown being totally included in Fire District 36, and the incorporation of the City of Woodinville.
   The underlying premise of the commissioners when the Fire Service Capital Funding Bond issue was presented to the voters, and why the determination was made regarding the placement of a downtown station to replace the old volunteer station 32, was that all fire stations in the District should be in the "Best" location for responding to calls for assistance. Placing the station downtown adjacent to a major non-gridlocked arterial is a necessity for the city, and the fire district. Reducing response time is a goal of the Woodinville City Council, and the residents and businesses adjacent to the new fire station location.
   One of the top 10 goals of the City Council in 1996 is to place this station downtown, and have the city re-rated to reduce the fire rating to a "2." Locating this station downtown will allow the owners of multifamily structures and certain businesses to receive substantial reductions in fire insurance premiums, plus allow quicker response times to over 500 elderly residents in Canterbury Square, and the new Brittany Park Leisure Care Facility. In addition, there are many other families shopping, living, and working in the city and fire district who will benefit from this fire station location.
   I recommended to the members of the first City Council that the city annex into the Fire District. I made this recommendation because of the quality of the commitment from the Fire Commissioners, the recognized statewide leadership of the management staff, and the departmental professionalism developed as a result of long years of leadership in the community. The Fire District received awards by the Washington State Fire Commissioners Association, and has been consistently recognized throughout the state as well as nationally as a leader in fire prevention, training, and emergency preparedness.
   Frankly, based on recent events, I question this continued commitment to excellence, and the caring, concerned attitude that has been the Woodinville Fire & Life Safety credo.
   The Woodinville City Council is interested in working with you to build a fire station downtown, and continue serving the public in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible. Please let us know how we can help you accomplish the mission we all have been entrusted with.
   I am looking forward to working with you in the future.

Robert R. Miller, Mayor, City of Woodinville