The Board of Fire Commissioners for Central Kitsap Fire
& Rescue will meet to discuss a resolution asking voters to consider a bond
to fund station-improvement projects. If the resolution is approved, voters
would see the measure on the August 4 Primary Election ballot.
The meeting will take place on Monday, March 23 at 4:00
pm at 5300 NW Newberry Hill Road in Silverdale (98383). The public is invited
and encouraged to attend. Individuals who are unable to attend, but would still
like to provide public comment, are encouraged to contact Chief John Oliver at [email protected], or by letter at the above
address. All comments are welcome and become part of the public record.
The District spent two years assessing its fire stations
through a comprehensive Capital Facilities Plan. The plan identified needed
facility improvements for community safety and to provide a healthier work
environment for firefighters.
For example, many stations are nearly 60 years old, and
none are up to current seismic standards. Engineers have identified several
that would be in danger of collapsing even with a small earthquake. This could
jeopardize the District’s ability to respond to emergency calls during such an
event. Several stations also are located significant distances away from
populated areas, which increases response times.
The stations lack effective exhaust removal systems and
decontamination areas that reduce firefighter exposure to carcinogens and
infectious diseases. Many stations also are not equipped with modern fire and
life safety systems such as security cameras, commercial fire alarms and
sprinklers. Some have been subjected to break ins.
Apparatus is a significant investment for taxpayers with
a basic fire engine starting at approximately $500,000. Many stations are too
small to shelter modern apparatus, which leaves it exposed to weather and
reduces its lifespan.
Capital facilities are too expensive to fund through the
District’s regular operating levies without cutting service levels. The
facilities bond would be 32 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. Even
with the bond, the average homeowner would still see a net decrease of $24 per
year in the taxes they pay to the District compared to what they paid in 2019.
The decrease is possible because an excess levy has
expired and an old bond for apparatus will be paid off before the new bond
would take effect in 2021. The District planned a possible bond request to
coincide with the retirement of the other funding measures to reduce impacts to
More information about the bond proposal, including a
copy of the Capital Facilities Plan, can be found on the District’s website at ckfrdev721.wpengine.com. Chief John Oliver also welcomes
questions at (360) 447-3566 or [email protected].