Letter: Fire levy, bond will be money well spent


To all the Oak Harbor voters that voted, “Thank you.” Whether you voted for or against the fire department’s bond and levy, I appreciate you exercising your right to vote; it is what democracy is founded upon. As you may have seen, the levy is passing with 60% of the vote, the fire bond is currently passing with 62.48% (60% is required). We are watching the bond closely, and anticipate its passage.

With passage of both items the fire department will begin to move forward on final design of the fire station, complete the bidding process for new fire apparatus and the hiring of additional personnel. From start to finish we estimate approximately two years (or more) before the new station is completed, including delivery of apparatus and the final hiring/training additional personnel. There will be concurrent work during 2023 and 2024. The department will begin hiring additional personnel in early 2023, and that process will continue until the end of 2024. Bidding of apparatus, inspection of the apparatus during multiple construction phases, and then final acceptance. The final design of the station, completing the bidding process, and then permits and construction. All the while being very cognizant of the cost of each phase of the process.

I will be very diligent with the dollars spent to make sure the city stays within budget and that we spend your dollars wisely. Thank you, Oak Harbor, for supporting your fire department.

Ray Merrill

Fire Chief