Following City Council adoption of a resolution setting a course for fire service to improve response times to 911 service calls, the Council and City staff have been taking steps necessary to move the plan forward.
In December 2015, the City Council approved the Capital Improvement Program that included funding for renovation of the Holmes Point Fire Station 25 on Finn Hill and purchase of property for a new Station 24 to be located in the vicinity of NE 132nd Street and 100th Avenue NE (near Juanita Elementary School).
Up to four residential properties were identified on the northeast corner of NE 132nd Street and 100th Avenue NE that could be suitable for a fire station (see map below). The owners of the residential properties were approached by a representative of the City regarding their interest in selling their property.
The Fire Chief and Deputy City Manager contacted all of the adjacent property owners and invited them to a January 21 meeting to answer questions and discuss any concerns they have about the project or living next to a fire station. The City engaged with residents and responded to their questions. The City will continue to stay in touch with neighbors about the progress of the project.
As of January 2016, three of the four properties have agreed to sell their property to the City and we continue to work with the fourth property owner. If a deal cannot be reached, the City can successfully build a new station with the current three properties.
Two of the four properties are rentals and the City has agreed that both renters and homeowners can remain in their homes until a fire station project is started, which will be no sooner than 2017. At the February 16, 2016 City Council meeting the Council authorized the City Manager to enter into purchase and sale agreements with each of the property owners that have agreed to sell.
During this same period, City staff have been working with real estate professionals to identify possible locations for a new Station 27 (currently located on NE 132nd Street just west of I-405). The long range plan is to move the current Station 27 east of I-405 (north of Evergreen Hospital). The new Station 24 and relocated Station 27 should improve response capability throughout the City.
On February 24, 2016, the City Council held their annual retreat and one of the topics was a discussion about financing options for construction of the new stations and renovation of remaining older stations that are in need of seismic upgrades and other safety improvements. See staff memorandum. The City Council asked staff to prepare multiple financing scenarios for review at their May 24th retreat.
Read the November 2015 update "City Council sets course for fire and EMS service improvements and new and renovated fire stations"
Read background information on the City's efforts to evaluate service improvements, including the "dual station"