November 21, 2013
New: Nov. 21, 11:56 a.m.
Sammamish will stay with Eastside Fire and Rescue, provided it gets a funding change and at least a few changes to the governance model.
The City Council voted unanimously Nov. 12 to accept a proposed change to the funding model, which looks to save Sammamish more than $411,000 per year.
The council also voted on a series of changes it would like to see made to the agreement that underpins the partnership. Read more
November 8, 2013
New: Nov. 8, 11:47 a.m.
If there’s smoke rising from behind the Sammamish Library, it might just be nothing more than firefighter training.
Firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue will be conducting a series of drills for the next two months leading up to a big burn of the Kellman mansion, the large pink house off 228th Avenue near City Hall and the library.
“We’re trying to get as much out of this building as we possibly can,” said Josie Williams, EFR spokeswoman. Read more
August 20, 2013
New: Aug. 20, 12:53 p.m.
Come late September, the Eastside Fire & Rescue board will be right back where it was in June — having to decide on a funding model that meets the needs of all members.
The difference will be that in eight weeks the group will have agreed on two things: what value they need to offer to retain members and how they maintain a stable organization. The process won’t be easy, said facilitator Neville Wallace, with Online Business Systems of Portland. Read more
July 21, 2013
New: July 21, 11:16 a.m.
After years of simmering tensions with Eastside Fire & Rescue, the city of Sammamish commissioned a study to find the cost of starting its own fire department.
The answer: about $6 million. In 2013, Sammamish paid $6.04 million to get fire service from EFR.
City Council members were quick to point out during a July 15 meeting that there may be less expensive ways to run their own department, including relocating and possibly shrinking a fire station. Read more
June 21, 2013
New: June 21, 2 p.m.
The Eastside Fire & Rescue board isn’t really known for unanimous decisions when discussing the partners’ funding model. But at a June 13 regular meeting, they all agreed it was time to look at hiring an independent facilitator.
EFR is a consortium of Sammamish, Issaquah, North Bend and Fire Districts 10 and 38, but Sammamish officials have called the funding model unfair because it bases payments on the value of property rather than the number of service calls. Read more
April 10, 2013
New: April 10, 2:09 p.m.
Negotiations to reduce the amount Sammamish pays for fire service have been less than fruitful. So at is April 2 meeting, the City Council formally authorized City Manager Ben Yazici to study options outside of remaining a member of Eastside Fire & Rescue.
“We are giving (Yazici) the OK to go ahead and examine the alternatives,” said Mayor Tom Odell. Read more
March 31, 2013
New: March 31, 11:16 a.m.
Eastside Fire & Rescue partners are generally unwilling to change the way they fund the agency in order to save Sammamish a few bucks.
At a March 18 funding model committee meeting, members told Sammamish they wanted to find some way to preserve the partnership, but they were unwilling to change the current funding arrangement. Read more
March 28, 2013
The Eastside Fire & Rescue board set seven 2013 goals for Fire Chief Lee Soptich to fulfill at its March 14 board meeting.
Top on the list is to prepare for the 2014 collective bargaining agreement with the firefighters’ union, which also includes hiring an attorney to provide comparison data. Read more
February 14, 2013
New: Feb. 14, 1:16 p.m.
Eastside Fire & Rescue partners had the equivalent of couple’s counseling at a Feb. 7 meeting, complete with accusations of duplicity and calls to salvage fraying relationships.
With less than two years left on the agency’s current interlocal agreement, and months of prep work necessary if a partner were to go somewhere else for fire service, partners began laying out their positions on the thorny issue of funding the agency. EFR serves the cities of Sammamish, Issaquah, North Bend and King County fire districts 10 and 38. Read more
January 11, 2013
New: Jan. 11, 10:18 a.m.
Sammamish could trim its fire service costs by between $156,000 and $314,000 a year if Eastside Fire & Rescue partners agree to a new funding model that reflects the amount of calls each jurisdiction produces.
But it remains to be seen whether other partners that make up the fire consortium – namely the cities of Issaquah and North Bend – would sign on to a new funding method that would substantially increase their fire bills in the name of maintaining the current incarnation of EFR past 2014. Read more