City Council votes to continue with fire authority planning

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RFA mapThe Mountlake Terrace City Council voted 5-0 Monday night to stay involved in the planning process for a proposed Regional Fire Authority (RFA) in south Snohomish County.

The cities of Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Lynnwood, Edmonds, Woodway, Mill Creek and Mukilteo, along with Snohomish County Fire Districts 1 and 7, had been meeting to consider the formation of a regional fire protection service plan since March 2011. Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Mill Creek and Fire District 7 have opted out. The Edmonds City Council is scheduled to vote on whether o continue its participation on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

The planning committee for the proposed RFA has set Wednesday, Feb. 6, as the date for the remaining jurisdictions to decide if they want to continue to be involved with the proposal.

Mountlake Terrace City Councilmember Doug McCardle sits on the RFA Planning Committee, in addition to one of its subcommittees, and has expressed strong support for the city to remain in the process. ďFor me itís the idea that these jurisdictions come together and they pool their resources and moneys in an effort to maintain sustainable fire and EMS services in south Snohomish County,Ē McCardle said on Monday night.

Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore and Mayor Jerry Smith also sit on the RFA Planning Committee; Smith serves as the boardís chair.

The RFA Planning Committee next meets on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Lynnwood City Council Chambers. The committee expects to hear from the remaining cities and Fire District 1 concerning which jurisdictions will continue with the proposalís planning and which, if any, will drop out.

A public vote on the proposed RFA for residents of the new fire protection district could end up on the August 2013 primary ballot. You can find out more information about the proposed RFA here.

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