Talks rekindled on new station

Negotiations between North Bend and King County Fire District 38 for a new fire station are expected to resume this month, according to both sides.

Fire District 38’s commissioners are preparing their position for the next round of negotiations. Last week, they reviewed the most recent proposed interlocal agreement, which will provide a starting point for upcoming negotiations.

Officials from Fire District 38 and North Bend agree that Fire Station 87, which currently serves both populations through a joint agreement with Eastside Fire and Rescue, is antiquated and undersized. In February 2008, the building in North Bend was temporarily evacuated due to asbestos. However, officials have been unable to reach an agreement on building a new station. Voters would then have to approve a capital funds bond to pay for the construction. Discussions about a new station began two years ago.

Disagreements over siting and division of cost and ownership have held up previous rounds of negotiations.

The existing facility was built as a volunteer station in the 1940s and has been remodeled several times to accommodate growth in the area. Fire crews living there have dealt with rat infestations, asbestos and cramped sleeping quarters. The new station could cost more than $7 million to build.

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