Northwest NEWS

September 21, 1998

Front Page

Valley levies pass

   by Lisa Allen
   Valley View Editor

   Voters last week approved a $95,000 police protection levy for Carnation and $5.59 million in bonds for Fire District 10, which includes the Carnation, Preston and Issaquah areas and the Sammamish plateau.
   As of late last week, the police levy had garnered almost 64 percent of "yes" votes, while 74 percent of voters favored the Fire District bonds.
   In Carnation, interim City Administrator Don Morrison said the levy will pay for 23 percent of police services.
   "It represents roughly six hours of coverage per day," he said.
   After months of turbulence in the city's police department, resulting in the termination of a patrol officer and the non-renewal of the chief's contract, the City Council is still studying the options of maintaining the city's police force or contracting with King County for police services.
   "I don't know which way the council will go on that." Morrison said. "But we needed the levy regardless."
   Morrison said the council is planning a public forum on the matter the end of September, but there is no date set.
   "Even if we go with county services we want to make it as local as possible," he said.
   Currently, King County police Sgt. D.J. Nesel is acting as interim chief.
   "He's doing a good job and helping keep things together," he said. "There is so much more to police work than driving through the streets. The city needs to consider the resources that are required to maintain reports, property storage, coordination with CPS, warrants and so on. There is a lot behind the scenes."
   Also, a new city administrator will be hired soon, he said.
   Morrison, a previous administrator, was hired to work on an interim basis after Randy Suko agreed to a contract termination earlier this summer.
   "We have 44 applicants for the job," he said. "It is a fairly well qualified field. There are some good candidates there."
   Morrison said an appointment to the position should be made just before Thanksgiving, to give the applicant time to give notice before beginning work in January.
   Fire District 10 was still waiting for validation the end of the week, even with 74 percent of favorable votes counted.
   "Validation requires 40 percent of voter turnout of the last election, and 60 percent to pass," said District 10 firefighter and union president Rich Merrell.
   "But it looks good," he said. "We are pretty pleased."
   The bond money will be spread over the district, he said.
   The funds will buy six new engines and six new aid cars, refurbish some older aid cars, remodel two stations and buy land for future stations.
   Carnation will receive $990,000 to purchase a fire engine, water tanker/tender, rescue unit, aid car and to recondition an aid car.
   The 10-year bond will cost $.13 per $1,000 of a home's assessed value. It will cost the average homeowner about $39 a year.
   "This is the first bond requested since 1980," Merrell said.