Fire Chief Mike Marrs Speaks Up On Bond Update
A Message from Chief Mike Marrs: Bond Update
On behalf of everyone at the Burien/Normandy Park Fire Department, I want to say thank you for supporting our November bond measure. This is the first in a series of communications to keep you updated on the progress we are making on the bond to replace our two fire stations for Burien and Normandy Park.
This was the first bond in the history of the fire department, and it passed by 66% even in this tough economy. Thanks to you, our firefighters and emergency personnel will have safe and healthy stations from which to serve you and your family.
Recently, we hired the architecture firm of Rice Fergus Miller to design the stations and go through the construction permitting process. Rice Fergus Miller has extensive experience designing and permitting other fire stations in King County and Washington. It was important to us that we hire a company with proven experience in working with emergency service providers.
We anticipate the design and permitting process to take just over a year. Once the designs are complete, we plan to unveil your new stations at a public meeting. We will heavily publicize the meeting and hope to see you there!
The next step is to sign a contract with a bond underwriter. Then the bonds are issued and King County will start collecting the taxes that you approved in November. The key here is timing. We have just three years to complete construction on the stations from the time that bonds are issued. We want to make sure that we are project-ready to build before we issue the bonds. Doing so maximizes our bond capacity and minimizes the impact to taxpayers in this tough economy.
No major project is without challenges, however. The biggest one we face is finding an appropriate site for the Burien station. We have identified property owned by the City of Burien, and hope that the City Council will agree to let us build there. We believe this is the most cost-effective and centrally located option for the new station. Talks are ongoing with city officials, and we will report back any progress we make in future updates.
Some good news is that we might have found a better site for the Normandy Road station. We are doing a feasibility study to confirm some details. The important thing is that we are working hard to be good stewards of your tax dollars; if we can save money and still provide the same level of emergency service, we will!
Again, thank you for your continued support of your fire fighters and emergency responders. Stay tuned for more updates as information becomes available.
In the meantime, feel free to contact me with any questions at (206) 242-2040 ext. 101 or by email at: [email protected].