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Council approves reduction in fire station staffing
Updated On: Dec 20, 2016
Council approves reduction
in fire station staffing
In its final meeting of 2016, the Edmonds City Council Tuesday night made two notable decisions: directing the city attorney to prepare language for an interlocal agreement that will reduce staffing at the city’s three fire stations and approving funding for construction of the long-awaited Edmonds Veterans Plaza.
The fire station staffing decision, to be included in an amendment to the city’s existing 20-year contract with Snohomish County Fire District 1 that is still under negotiation, came after an hour of public testimony by citizens plus a few firefighters. All except one of the approximately 15 people offering testimony were opposed to the staffing reductions, which the city said will save $1.36 million annually and improve efficiencies across the three city fire stations.
Councilmember Mike Nelson, who made it clear during last week’s council discussion on the matter that he was siding with the firefighters, was the lone no vote on the proposed amendment. “It is always expensive to save lives and it always will be,” Nelson said in a statement prior to the vote. “I believe we should prioritize saving lives over saving money.”