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Whidbey fire station for sale

The Historic San de Fuca Station was built in 1960 and closed in 2009 as a cost-saving measure by the North Whidbey Fire and Rescue Board of Commissioners. The station was declared surplus this week and will go up for sale soon.  - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
The Historic San de Fuca Station was built in 1960 and closed in 2009 as a cost-saving measure by the North Whidbey Fire and Rescue Board of Commissioners. The station was declared surplus this week and will go up for sale soon.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

The North Whidbey Fire and Rescue Board of Commissioners voted to “surplus” the San de Fuca Station above Penn Cove on Tuesday evening.

The action allows North Whidbey Fire and Rescue to sell the property, appraised for $133,000, said Fire Chief Marv Koorn.

Built in 1960 on land purchased in 1959, the station is described as “the district’s oldest and most historical building,” on the North Whidbey Fire and Rescue Web site. Growth of the Penn Cove area spurred a facility upgrade in 1990 to keep up with the increased population.

The station was tentatively scheduled for major upgrades pending a November 2008 property tax levy lift; it, however, failed by a wide margin and the commissioners deactivated the station in February 2009. Since then the building has been used for storage.

The commissioners also scheduled a special meeting May 25 to discuss the status of the Silver Lake Station.

In March, Chief Koorn asked the district board of commissioners to consider the closure of either the Silver Lake or Polnell fire stations as a cost-saving measure.

Silver Lake’s closure would mean a savings of $6,000 to $7,500 each year in terms of maintenance and operations, plus roughly an additional $40,000 will also be saved each year in equipment costs. One less station means less equipment to purchase, pay off and maintain, Koorn said.

Instead of voting on a station closure, the commissioners requested additional information from the chief and scheduled a “future planning” meeting to discuss the status of the Silver Lake Station. They will decide whether it would best serve the area as an aid station, or if the district should restore the facility as a fire station, which would require the purchase of another fire engine.

Regardless of whether the station continues to operate as an aid or fire station, it’ll require further repairs and maintenance, Koorn said.

Several years ago, at the height of the building boom, the department received an $80,000 bid to remove a leaky tower and repair the interior, among other fixes.

Koorn is hopeful the district can secure a lower price in this economy for the same scope of work.

The status of the station will likely affect insurance rates for nearby homeowners, Koorn said. Currently, Silver Lake is an aid station and houses a 1999 rescue truck.

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