North Bend fire station saga continues

Those North Bend residents waiting for a new fire station must be a patient bunch. Negotiations on a fire hall deal have taken more twists than drivers through the city’s two roundabouts.

In the latest talks between King County Fire District 38 and the city of North Bend, the city is showing raised levels of urgency. Last week, North Bend sent back a counterproposal to District 38’s offer of a joint agreement. The differences appear to be based on relative property appraisals, which translate to tax funding, in the fire district and the city. Other sticky spots include the land purchase for the station and how long the parties both have rights to the place.

North Bend already purchased property for the station, but wants the district to help pay for 60 percent of it, up to $200,000.

City officials say they want a fair arrangement with District 38, but one wonders how fire district officials will be willing to bend. District 38 commissioners reserved comment before reading the city’s reply.

How badly does the city need a fire station? Trucks are still rolling, but it’s been two years since firefighters evacuated the city’s downtown station due to asbestos concerns.

Considering that North Bend was already pondering going it alone to build a new station, I suppose that seeing both parties back at the discussion table is a good sign. As long as these proposals and counterproposals are in good faith, let’s hope that real progress can be made on this issue.

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