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Island County Fire District 3 seeks review of proposed Bayview facility

Island County Fire District 3 has taken another step toward a new central facility at Bayview.

The district applied this week for a site-plan review for the project, slated for 9.4 acres the district owns at Bayview Corner between Good Cheer Food Bank and Bayview School.

The application to Island County is aimed at obtaining a conditional-use permit for the project, Kenon Simmons, district commission chairman, said Thursday.

“Nothing’s set in stone,” Simmons said. “It’s part of our long-range planning. The permit will allow us to use the property for its intended purpose.

“There’s certainly a need,” he added, “but we’re not prepared to go to the taxpayers yet and ask for money.”

For more than a decade, officials have envisioned a central facility that would serve residents of the district, which stretches from south of Greenbank to Clinton. Rough estimates for the project have ranged from $4 million to $8 million.

Envisioned is a 10,000-square-foot, two-bay fire station, a 5,400-square-foot administration building and a 400-square-foot training facility.

Late in 2008, officials were considering a request to taxpayers in the district for a 25-cent increase in its property-tax levy to finance the project. Then the economy turned sour, and that plan was put on hold indefinitely.

Simmons said the current Bayview Fire Station near Bayview Shopping Center is too small, and has no room to expand.

Carletti Architects of Mount Vernon, which also designed the district’s $1.5 million Langley Fire Station, is preparing design concepts for the new facility.

Simmons said commissioners and other district officials will discuss the Bayview project and other district issues at a strategic planning meeting in Langley today.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m. at the Saratoga Inn.

“There’s no timing on the construction, and we haven’t even begun to talk about financing,” Simmons said of the Bayview project. “We need to weigh our needs against the economic conditions.”

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