Kirkland residents and businesses will have two opportunities to learn about and comment on the current status of the proposed North Kirkland fire station. On Monday, October 12, 2015 representatives from the Fire Department and City Manager’s Office will give an update regarding the City’s plan for providing fire services in North Kirkland, the station siting process and funding the proposed new station. Staff will also answer the community’s questions and take comments. The community meeting will be held 7 to 9 p.m. at Finn Hill Middle School, 8040 NE 132nd Street. On Tuesday, October 20, 2015, the Kirkland City Council will hold a public hearing to consider two resolutions. The first resolution clarifies language in an Interlocal Agreement between the City of Kirkland and the now-dissolved King County Fire Protection District #41 (FD #41) regarding the original intent of FD #41 assets to be applied to consolidating Fire Station 24 (Finn Hill) and Fire Station 25 (Holmes Point); both located in the Finn Hill neighborhood. The City Council will accept public testimony at the public hearing regarding the proposal to allow FD #41 assets to be repurposed from the consolidation of the two fire stations to the “dual station” model which retains Fire Station (FS) 25 at its current location and proposes a new station be built near the intersection of NE 132nd Street and 100th Avenue Northeast to better serve the Finn Hill and Juanita Neighborhoods. Public testimony will be accepted during the Public Hearing scheduled to begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. or may be sent to email@example.com by 5 p.m. on October 20, 2015.
A second resolution will describe the City’s short and long term plan for implementing the “dual station model” and implementing the recommendations of the Standards of Coverage study completed in 2012. It also recommends suspending the barrier removal project in the proposed Capital Improvement Program in due to community concern and logistical challenges that have emerged through further analysis.
“The goal of the siting process has been to address response time gaps in the north end of the city, particularly on Finn Hill,” notes City Manager Kurt Triplett. “The City is committed to upholding the intent and investment of the Interlocal Agreement to improve service while satisfying the community’s desire for efficient fire and EMS response.”
Prior to the 2011 annexation, the northern unincorporated area of Kirkland was served by three agencies. FD #41 served the majority of the area (all within the annexation area) through a contract with the City of Kirkland Fire Department. Woodinville Fire & Life Safety served the easternmost portion (Kingsgate) and Redmond Fire District #34 served a small area on the Kirkland/Redmond border.
The Interlocal Agreement, enacted prior to the City annexing the Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate areas in 2011, described how FD #41 funds were to be used to enhance levels of fire service and emergency medical response. In addition, the Interlocal Agreement established City’s assumption of outstanding projects and programs that were not completed prior to annexation. The Fire Strategic Plan and fire station consolidation plan were two such projects that the City intended to complete. A summary of project highlights in contained in the September 15, 2015 memo to the City Council (PDF).
The Fire Strategic Plan, approved by the City Council in 2013, identified ways fire and EMS service could be improved to the northwest (Finn Hill area) area of the City. A companion study, Standards of Coverage and Deployment Plan (PDF), recommended keeping FS 25/Holmes Point open at its present location and building a new station closer to the intersection of 100th Avenue and NE 132nd Street. It further recommended moving FS 27 (Totem Lake) to a new location east of I-405 which would address a response time gap in northeast Kingsgate area.