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Voters approve $18M bond for Wash. FD upgrades

Yakima County Fire District will use funds for firehouse expansions, a new dispatch center and apparatus


Yakima County Fire District No.5/Facebook

By Phil Ferolito
Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. — Voters are approving a $18 million bond that would pay for significant upgrades in the Yakima County Fire District, according to Tuesday night’s preliminary election results.

Totals updated Wednesday showed the bond passing with 65% of the total, or 1,483 votes to 787, preliminary results showed.

The bond measure would cost residents $0.28 per $1,000 of assessed property value. For example, the owner of a $300,000 property would pay $84 a year.

The bond would pay for the expansion of three fire stations, build and equip a new headquarters station with a larger dispatch center and acquire new fire apparatus.

Fire District 5 has 15 fire stations and covers 800 square miles of rural landscape in the Lower Valley, making it the state’s second-largest fire district.

Capital improvements would include adding overnight sleeping quarters, a new firetruck bay, additional office space, and a larger commons area at the Harrah station.

Offices also would be added to stations in Zillah and Sunnyside. The Parker station — built in 1961 — would be retrofitted to house a newer, larger firetruck. Its bay doors are too small for modern equipment.

The district also hopes to acquire five new fire trucks, each costing about $800,000.

Fire district officials plan to ask voters for a levy increase next year to help support additional firefighters. The district is mostly composed of volunteer firefighters.

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