April 13, 1998

Local News

News from WFLSD

Station 35 septic tank is repaired

by Al Hooper

   On April 7 the Board of Commissioners for the Woodinville Fire and Life Safety District reported that repairs to the leaking septic tank and drain field at Station 35 were almost completed, and that the final steps were waiting on an inspection by the county. The drain field has been expanded, a small leak in the tank itself has been repaired, and all of the electrical control circuitry has been put in place. Chief Steve Smith said that after the job has been completed, monitoring will continue for several months, possibly into the following year.
  
   Commissioner David Callon asked that the water consumption of the station be specifically monitored, noting that previous reports showed higher than normal levels of consumption. The problems with the drain field and septic tank were first brought to the attention of the Board in December of last year, as was the high rate of water usage.
  
   Fire Prevention Bureau staffing
   The Board took note of a possible problem in staffing at the Fire Prevention Bureau in downtown Woodinville. It was brought to their attention by Smith that a three-fold increase in requested permits has caused a backlog for both the permitting process and the performance of the inspectors' duties. Commissioner Tim Osgood noted that during a recent joint meeting between the fire district and the city, Assistant City Manager Carter Hawley expressed concerns that the city might not be adequately covered under the provisions of the agreement if the staffing problem is not resolved soon. Hawley pointed out that if an illness or accident prevents someone from doing their job, the current lack of back-up personnel might cause operations to slow down below an acceptable point.
  
   Callon moved that the Board direct the chief to transfer one person from the headquarters staff to the Bureau for two days each week to alleviate the immediate problems and to provide back-up training. Commissioners Osgood and Ben May both expressed concern that such a move would simply create another set of staffing problems, and that it would be better to implement a long term solution. After debating the merits of volunteer staffing, hiring another person, or reassigning duties, the motion failed on a 2-2 vote.
  
   Other business
   Deputy Chief Dominic Marzano, who was promoted just one year ago, was discussed in light of an annual review for salary increase purposes. The Board failed to come to an agreement on the increase that should be given to Marzano, but all present agreed that Marzano has exceeded all expectations in the performance of his duties, and that he has earned a merit increase. The issue will be taken up again at the next regular meeting, April 21.
  
   As a result ofdiscussion concerning Marzano, the Board realized that it currently has no policy regarding reimbursement of expenses for personnel who obtain higher education. Everyone present agreed that such a policy must be formulated soon, and May asked Smith to make recommendations at the next meeting.
  
   Bob Banderra, the general manager of the Woodinville Water District, has asked the Board if they would like to participate in a joint meeting with the Board of the Water District. One of the topics likely to be discussed is the amount of water available for fire suppression in the future.
  
   The commissioners normally meet at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at the District Headquarters, located at 19900 144th Ave NE. They can be reached via voice mail at 425-483-2131.