North Whidbey fire station site dumped by county

North Whidbey Fire and Rescue District continues its quest to find a suitable piece of property for construction of a fire station that would consolidate the San de Fuca and Zylstra Road stations, but the old county dump property on Hastie Lake Road will not be among them.

For the past several months, Fire Chief Marv Koorn and commission members have been talking with Island County commissioners about the feasibility of acquiring the property, but the board received letters from Island County General Services Administration Director Betty Kemp and Island County Commissioner Angie Homola stating that the county is not interested in pursuing the matter.

Kemp’s letter indicated the deciding factor in the county turning down the proposal was that it “would rather be purchasing properties as buffers surrounding our closed landfills rather than selling the buffers for development.”

Homola’s letter stated that the matter was brought up during a work session and “it was not well received.”

Homola wrote that there was “concern that an environmental impact statement would elevate scrutiny on the site which may create a challenging outcome for the county.”

The San de Fuca station is no longer active and was built in 1961. The Zylstra Road station was built in 1976. Consolidation of the two facilities would enable the fire district to respond to calls on the west side in a more timely manner.

Commissioner Bruce Carman expressed surprise that the county was not interested in selling the Hastie Lake Road property.

“If the county is hurting for money like they say they are, why not sell off some property?” he asked.

The fire district has $150,000 budgeted to purchase a piece of property for station consolidation.

There are two other pieces of property the fire district is looking at, one is on Zylstra Road and Sweetbriar Lane that is approximately five acres in size and owned by a person in California. The district has contacted the owner and is working on a price.

A new piece of property the district has found is on Van Dam Road and is approximately four-and-a-half acres in size.

Koorn said the owner’s asking price for the property is $175,000, but that is “negotiable.”

“We are working through a Realtor to see if the owner of this property has any objections to us constructing a fire station on it,” Koorn said.

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