City looking at other ways to provide fire service
by Jeff Switzer
WOODINVILLE--Three years following incorporation, the majority of the City Council feels it's time to look at other options for providing fire services to its residents, and voted 4-2 last week to direct the City Manager to hire a consultant to start the process.
The city annexed into the Woodinville Fire and Life Safety District after incorporation, when creating their own fire department would have been cost-prohibitive and more expensive to the taxpayers.
At their July 15 meeting, the council was scheduled to discuss some changes to the city's contract with the fire department, outlining a shift in enforcement procedures and a clause which may open the city to litigation.
This contract adjustment became a moot point after Councilmember Marsha Engel introduced and Mayor Bob Miller seconded a proposal to have City Manager Joe Meneghini hire a consultant to investigate options the city has for providing fire services.
Councilmember DeYoung and Deputy Mayor Don Brocha voted against the motion; Mayor Bob Miller and Councilmembers Scott Hageman, Marsha Engel, and Barbara Solberg voted for it.
The options could include a shift to the city providing the service, the status quo, or other as-yet-unidentified options.
One possibility has Woodinville following the example of Redmond, which started by contracting with its fire district and then shifted to a model in which the city provides the service and the district contracts with them.