Fire Commissioners to determine whether to place facilities levy at Oct. 9 meeting

Bainbridge Island Fire Commissioners will likely determine at their Oct. 9 meeting whether they will place a potential 20-year, $17 million facilities bond measure for a possible election in February. The bond would finance replacing the island’s two oldest fire stations and remodeling its newest.

The commissioners made the decision at Thursday’s night meeting after the Bainbridge Island City Council decided Tuesday at its meeting that they needed additional community input regarding a new police station that would possibly be co-located with the municipal court.

To accomplish this, the City Council will have a public comment period about the range of options regarding a new police station at its 7 p.m. Oct. 7 study session in the Council Chamber.

The city of Bainbridge Island is looking at various options, including a new stand-alone police facility in Winslow, either to the north or south near City Hall, as well as a combined police and fire facility located at the site of the current Bainbridge Island Fire Department (BIFD) Station 21.

A June report by an architect firm stated building a new combined police-fire facility would cost $2.3 million less at $15.3 million than the $17.6 million combined total it would take to build separate fire and police facilities.

A June phone poll indicated the support for a joint Bainbridge fire/police station was overwhelming with 87 percent of island residents out of 200 favoring a design for a new main fire station on Madison Avenue that included a new city police station.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Seattle architect firm Mackenzie delivered a report analyzing the feasibility of the preferred options on public safety and court facilities being considered by the City Council. This report is available on the city of Bainbridge Island website at: www.bainbridgewa.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/3987. Additional information and background about this project can be found on the project page on the City’s website: www.bainbridgewa.gov/528/Police-Facility-Planning.

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About Ethan Fowler

Ethan Fowler has more than 20 years of journalism experience with 19 years of daily and weekly newspaper experience covering news, features and sports, as well as being an editor for 14 of those years. He has won several writing awards over the years in Washington state, Virginia, Texas and Georgia, including award-winning investigative journalism. Fowler was paid by the Review & Herald Publishing Association in 2009 to co-author a book, "Brushed Back: The Story of Trevor Bullock," with his wife. The book details the real life of a top minor league pitcher in the Philadelphia Phillies organization and his Christian faith. "Brushed Back" has sold more than 2,000 copies since its release.