Fire district plan calls for significant upgrades
By Jack Kintner
The North Whatcom Fire & Rescue (NWFR) service has released its capital needs and facilities report prepared by outside consultants.
The consultants concluded that the department will not be able to meet the increase in demand brought about by growth in Birch Bay without significant upgrades.
The consultants believe that, without changes to the district’s infrastructure, “Increased residential and commercial development in Birch Bay is beyond the fire stations’ response capability.”
The report, released earlier this month, indicates that NWFR faces a projected 33 percent increase in workload due to new development alone. The question is one of how to provide an appropriate and adequate level of service to an increased population without a corresponding increase in revenues.
Called the “Facilities and Capital Needs Assessment,” the 273 page report was completed by Emergency Services Consulting Inc. The report found that the District’s population is expected to increase by an estimated 7,829 people, a 22 percent increase, because of new development.
The public is invited to an informational presentation of the report and will have an opportunity to ask questions of the consultants who conducted the study. The meetings are on April 22, 2008 at 7 p.m. at the NWFR Fire Station No. 71 at 307 19th Street in Lynden, and on April 23 at 7 p.m. at the Birch Bay Bible Community Church at 7039 Jackson Rd in Birch Bay.
The entire 273-page report is available at www.nwfrs.net.
The NWFR Board of Fire Commissioners anticipates holding a public hearing prior to adoption of the report and the selection of one of the options provided in the report. If you wish to receive notice of the hearing, please contact Jane VandenBos, NWFR Administrative Assistant to the Fire Chief, at 360-318-9933 or firstname.lastname@example.org.