South Whidbey fire district to sell Thompson Road property

South Whidbey Fire/EMS hopes to recover some money by selling off a 20-acre property on Thompson Road.

The fire district’s commissioners agreed the district should put the two-parcel property on the market. The 20 acres will not be split, however.

“We think it will be more marketable this way,” said Chief Rusty Palmer.

It was purchased several years ago for more than $236,000 as a future site for a new fire district headquarters, a training facility and an Island County Sheriff’s Office precinct.

None of those plans came to fruition, however, as the district encountered resistance from residents in the area and the site lacked acceptable access to Highway 525.

Record reports at the time said the district paid for the property in two installments: $120,676 for 10 acres of wooded land and $111,000 for the adjoining 9.3 acres.

“I don’t think we had any lookers,” Palmer said. “That was when the market was really bad.”

South Whidbey’s fire district leaders are expecting to lose money on the purchase. They were encouraged by Christina Parker, a real estate agent and a district volunteer firefighter and EMT, to list the property for between $189,000 and $199,000, about a $37,000 loss.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to see the property get back to the inflated value that it was,” Palmer said.

“It doesn’t help us to be landholders for the sake of holding land.”

The fire district has since purchased property on Bayview Road between Bayview School and Good Cheer. South Whidbey Fire/EMS leaders still have plans to build a district office and training facility there, but are waiting for available funding.

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