LETTER: VIFR does not need park district’s money

The fire district does not need to take money from the Vashon Park District (“Fire chief faces park district over interlocal agreement,” June 27). The fire department just received a large 87 percent increase of our property tax dollars from the November levy, with possible increases of 6 percent more each year.

The interlocal agreements between the fire district and the other island public entities are being negotiated differently. The airport district is allowing the use of their heliport. Water District 19 is allowing their water to be used for fire drills. The cemetery district is allowing the fire district to use a small piece of land at the cemetery by their bulletin board for the fire district to pay for their own statue in the future. The school district payment is mandated by state law based on student enrollment. I can’t image what the sewer district is giving the fire district.

An interlocal agreement really just needs to say the fire district will put out fires and come to the aid of those in need when 911 is called, wherever the need is on Vashon. That is the job of the fire district. There does not need to be an exchange of cash.

Are we going back to the way Philadelphia handled fires in the 1700s? People who paid the fire department “insurance” received a medallion to place on the outside of their home. When the fire truck arrived and saw the medallion they put out the fire; if no medallion was seen they watched the house burn down.

If the fire district really wants something in exchange for doing their job, how about the district doing a water drill once a year at Jenson Point and/or Lisabuela? They get a practice space and the park district’s finances stay intact. This is all our local money.

Let’s keep it where it belongs.

— Hilary Emmer

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