South Whidbey Fire/EMS Thompson Road sale pushed back | UPDATED

South Whidbey Fire/EMS Chief Rusty Palmer will update fire commissioners Thursday, July 10, on the closing sale of the district’s 19.3-acre property on Thompson Road near the South Whidbey Tilth Farmers Market.

The meeting will be at the Freeland fire station on Cameron Road at 5:30 p.m.

The site was originally purchased in 2001 as two parcels for $236,000. Palmer had a buyer set and a closing date in late June for about $189,000 — a $47,000 loss. The closing date was pushed back because the buyer needed more time to sort paperwork for mineral rights for the two different parcels, Palmer said. On Wednesday, he emailed The Record to say the paperwork was adjusted and he will sign the sale forms later in the day and the buyer would sign Thursday, making the closing date later this week.

Originally, the property was planned to be the new Bayview station and district headquarters. A more suitable site was found on Bayview Road after the Thompson Road residents told the district they did not want a station built near them.

Closely tied to the Thompson Road property is an update on the district’s proposed new Bayview station and administration office. The district expects to hear from its engineering and design firm on updated cost estimates of the combined station/office.

“We’re still working on that initial open-scale plan so we can throw it out and see what people say,” Palmer said of the plan’s public presentation.

Several work bids will be awarded at the meeting, including septic inspection and service, annual overhead door maintenance, painting of a few stations, heating and air conditioning upgrades to two stations, and property contour surveys at two stations.

An old vehicle is set to be surplussed as well, a 1998 Chevrolet ambulance truck. The Freeland station volunteers will have to get their fitness elsewhere, as the district is selling its Paramount Fit 5000 weight bench. Palmer said the district’s health and wellness committee is identifying which exercises and workout machines are best suited for firefighters and emergency medical technicians. He cited the example of using an elliptical over a treadmill to build endurance rather than strength.

“If it doesn’t make us more fit for our job, it doesn’t belong in the fire station,” he said.


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