Woodinville Fire & Northshore Merger Update: Less Cost, Better Service for Residents

The Northshore Fire Department is asking voters to approve a merger with Woodinville Fire & Rescue on the April 27, 2021, Special Election. If approved by voters, property owners in Woodinville, Kenmore, and Lake Forest Park would see an improvement in emergency services and pay less in taxes starting in 2022.

Operating as one agency would allow more efficient deployment of emergency response personnel and resources. For example, were the agencies combined in February 2021, there would have been at least one additional emergency response apparatus in service 20 out of 28 days, or 71 percent of the time.

More efficient use of emergency personnel also could save taxpayers on overtime costs, which were nearly $1.8 million for both agencies in 2020. If the agencies were combined in the month of February, overtime savings alone would have exceeded $22,000.

If the merger passes, Northshore property owners would save an estimated $0.11 per $1,000 of assessed property value or 8.5% of the effective tax rate. Woodinville property owners would save an estimated$0.07 per $1,000 or 5.6%. These are conservative estimates prepared by an independent third-party financial firm and based on the most current data available for assessed property values.

Because Northshore Fire Department is merging into Woodinville Fire & Rescue, the proposal will only be on ballots of Northshore voters. More information on the merger can be found on Woodinville Fire’s website at www.wf-r.org.