Fire Station Update
The 2012 Fire Strategic Plan (PDF 4.5mb) and 2014 Standards of Coverage and Deployment Plan (pdf 11.7MB) included recommendations that provided a “blueprint” for improving fire and emergency medical response times in Kirkland and updating older fire stations to meet current safety standards. A series of investments were initiated to make the plan a reality. The plan called for closing Fire Station 24 previously located on 84th Avenue NE on Finn Hill and building a new Fire Station 24 in a more central location in north Kirkland. The plan also called for moving Fire Station 27 currently located on NE 132nd Street from the west side of Interstate 405 to east side of the highway. Those two moves would provide improved coverage in north Kirkland and allow for modernization of two aging stations.
Since those plans were complete, the City has moved closer to implementing the plan:
- In 2016 a fourth firefighter was added at Fire Station 25 located on Holmes Point Way and Juanita Drive to allow the station to respond to multiple calls at one time.
- In 2018, the City of Kirkland completed renovations to Fire Station 25 to provide much-needed safety and building code improvements.
- In 2016, the City also initiated eminent domain proceedings (also known as condemnation) to secure a property for a new Station 24. The property is located on NE 132nd Street and 100th Avenue NE and is currently occupied by a Rite Aid store. Eminent domain proceedings can be very complex, and the action is making its way through the judicial process. In the meantime, City staff is developing design drawings for the new station including right-of-way improvements that will be needed to allow for the station to operate safely and improve pedestrian facilities that serve Juanita Elementary School (see map below). The design for Station 24 will allow Goodwill to continue its operations as well.
- The funding for construction of Fire Station 24 is included in the 2019-2020 Budget and it is hoped that the City will able to break ground in 2020. The City is reaching out to the residents and businesses in the area to keep them informed and answer any questions of concerns they may have.
- In 2018, the City identified a potential location for a new Station 27 located on NE 132nd Street east of Interstate 405 and just north of Evergreen Hospital. On April 16, 2019 the City Council authorized the City Manager to enter into purchase and sale agreement for the property which is currently occupied by several businesses that will continue to operate while more detailed plans are developed, and funding is made available to develop the property. Temporary funding was identified for the purchase of the property pending a potential bond measure (discussed below); however, the station construction is not funded at this time.
The City Council 2019-2020 work plan includes development of a bond measure to be presented to voters in 2020 to provide funding for constructing the new Fire Station 27 and to complete the renovation of the remaining three fire stations. The Council will convene a citizen advisory committee in late 2019 or early 2020 to help frame the size and scope of the bond measure.
The Fire Station renovation projects will create safer and more efficient work environments for our first responders. Once the Fire Station 24 and Fire Station 27 projects are completed, the City will have improved its response times for fire and emergency medical calls in north Kirkland which will improve overall response throughout the City.