The Chelan Fire and Rescue Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Wednesday, Sep. 13, 2017, to discuss emergency response calls from the month, the possibility of annexation into the Chelan 7 district for a handful of residents outside district lines, and to receive an update on the levy lid lift process.
Fire Chief Tim Lemon began by recounting a water rescue call that the department responded to earlier this month. According to Lemon a group of young people were swimming at night, and one member of the party went missing. After an initial search, it was discovered that the missing person had gone home without telling the party. The result was “a lot of unhappy people” according to Lemon.
Next, Lemon explained to commissioners that a group of properties outside Chelan Fire and Rescue District boundaries, was being considered for the process of annexation into the district.
“All of these areas we respond to regularly at a cost to our department and our taxpayers,” Lemon said. “We are looking to bring them into the district. We are ready to proceed with that.”
The areas that Chief Lemon was referring to included areas on Albert Joe Road in Chelan Falls, Navarre Coulee before Knapp’s Hill Tunnel, Davis Canyon and Downey Canyon and the end of South Shore Road near Shady Pass and Hale Road.
He explained that the annexation process would begin with communication from the district explaining the option to the property owners. The initiative would go to a vote which would require that 60 percent of the property owners represented, vote in favor of joining the fire district.
Commissioner Tom Peters said he thought a cost comparison provided to property owners would be helpful to those in the proposed annexation areas.
“Do you give them any indication of what a bill might look like if they didn’t [vote in favor]?” Peters asked. “I think it would be a good idea, because they might be surprised to find out how much a bill would look like compared to the tax they would pay.”
The board gave Chief Lemon their approval to move forward with the annexation process.
The last agenda item heard by the board was an update to the levy lid lift request process. Previously, the board had brought in Bob Merritt, a consultant who recommended that a Citizen’s Committee be formed to help the board identify the wants and needs of the community.
“We are about two-thirds complete on that. We still have a few folks who we have not heard back from,” Lemon said of the cumulative 12 committee members who have been recommended to represent the voice of the community.
The next meeting of the Chelan Fire and Rescue Board of Commissioners is set for October 11, 2017, at 4 p.m. at the Chelan Fire Hall. The public is encouraged to attend the meetings and those wishing to make comment are invited to do so at the beginning of each meeting.
(By Jillian Foster)