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South Whidbey fire district to review Bayview station costs

South Whidbey Fire/EMS leaders will discuss a new Bayview fire station at a commissioners meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 13.

Chief Rusty Palmer said district leaders will discuss new estimates for the proposed Bayview Fire Station located between the Bayview School and Good Cheer Food Bank on Bayview Road.

Originally proposed in 2010, the station was once estimated to cost as much as $8 million. At its largest design, the 10,000-square-foot, two-bay fire station and 5,400-square-foot administration building would serve as a new fire station and district headquarters, relocating the paid staff from the Freeland station and moving the Bayview volunteers and engines across the highway.

Eventually the project was scaled back to $4.4 million. But in fall 2013, South Whidbey Fire/EMS officials looked at cutting costs by reducing some amenities, such as combining kitchens and restrooms between the headquarters and station.

“The board needs to make a decision whether they’re going to move right away or not for a while,” Palmer said.

Also on the meeting agenda is reviewing surplus vehicles the district hopes to sell. Included are a 1987 Ford Marion engine, a 1993 Chevrolet flatbed truck, a 1994 Chevrolet pickup truck, and a 2002 Yamaha Waverunner with a trailer. Palmer gave a rough estimate that each vehicle may be worth $3,000.

“We’ll get as much out of them as we possibly can,” he said.

A 1998 Chevrolet rescue vehicle, also on the surplus list, may stay on Whidbey Island, however, if an agreement with the Islands Chapter of the American Red Cross can be struck. As part of the agreement, the vehicle would have to be accessible to South Whidbey Fire/EMS if the district needed it.

“We can’t gift anything to anybody because it has value. If we can strike an agreement with them to use it and keep it available to us, then we’ll do that,” Palmer said.

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