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Fire chief’s contract is almost ready

A tentative agreement has been reached on a contract for Island County Fire District 3’s new fire chief.

Kenon Simmons, District 3 commission chairman, said Monday the three commissioners and their top choice to replace retiring chief Dan Stout have agreed in principle on provisions of a contract.

Last month, commissioners announced that H.L. “Rusty” Palmer, 57, the current fire chief of the Jackson Hole, Teton County, Wyo. fire department, was offered the chief’s job here.

The formal contract is expected to be drawn up and signed when Stout’s projected replacement visits the South End later this week.

Simmons said the tentative provisions of a new contract are “very close” to Stout’s current contract of $97,200 per year.

“Their experience level is pretty much the same,” Simmons said.

Details of the tentative contract were worked out at a meeting of the fire commissioners this past Saturday, he said.

Palmer’s selection was the culmination of a nationwide search by an Oregon executive-search firm hired by the district.

Stout, 66, will retire in February after 43 years in various fire services, the past five with District 3.

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