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County fire district explores land, grant

Long-range planning is not a dead issue for the North Whidbey Fire and Rescue District Board of Commissioners.

Despite voters turning down the levy lift lid proposal twice last year, commissioners are discussing the possible acquisition of two pieces of property for the consolidation of the Zylstra Road and San de Fuca fire stations.

One of the parcels is on Hastie Lake Road on the property where the old county dump is located and the other is near the intersection of Sweetbriar Lane and Zlystra Road.

“What we would like to do is be able to consolidate both stations and that way get to calls on the west side in a more timely manner,” Chief Marv Koorn said at last week’s meeting.

The fire stations at San De Fuca and on Zylstra Road are two of the oldest ones in the North Whidbey Fire and Rescue District. San De Fuca was built in 1961 and the Zylstra Road facility was constructed in 1976. Both stations were constructed by volunteer labor.

Recently, the San De Fuca station was mothballed and the equipment moved to other stations.

Koorn said the district has contacted Island County commissioners John Dean and Angie Homola to discuss the feasibility of acquiring one or the other pieces of property.

The property on Hastie Lake Road is owned by the county and is approximately 15 acres in size.

“It is where the old county dump was located and we would like to acquire the front portion of the property where the dump wasn’t,” Koorn said. “It is about five acres in size and that would give us plenty of room.”

Koorn said the second piece of property on Zylstra and Sweetbriar Lane is owned by a person in California and is also about five acres in size. Currently, the district is working with the owner on a price.

“There are no construction plans at this time, we are just in the very early stages of discussion about something we would like to do sometime down the road,” Koorn said.

Koorn said the fire district is also in the process of applying for a government loan through the federal stimulus package earmarked for fire department construction and equipment.

“There is approximately $210 million in federal money available, and we would like to see if we could obtain $4 million of that amount to continue our construction plans on the Heller Road station,” Koorn said.

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