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Lid lift in CKFR's future

To keep CKFR headed down the right path, a recent retreat of the district’s strategic planning committee has helped to plan for the future.

The committee, made up of CKFR personnel and fire commissioners, focused on various issues within the department, mainly staffing, facilities and apparatus. But one major topic discussed was the fact that Initiative 747 (passed in 2001), which restricts the department to 1 percent increase in tax revenue per year (plus new construction), is catching up and CKFR officials have decided that they will go to the voters this fall for a lid lift.

“We don’t have exact figures, but we’re looking at by taking it back to $1.50 per $1,000 (assessed property value), it will last us a few years,” CKFR Chief Burdette said. “We’ve cut everything we could cut.”

The committee also discussed staffing issues and are looking to add three firefighters to the department next year, according to Burdette.

Also a major issue discussed was the current state of some of CKFR’s facilities and equipment. Some of the equipment has since aged including fire engines that are 35 years old. The committee also discussed replacing or remodeling some of the older fire stations.

“Some of the stations are very old,” Burdette said. “New fire engines won’t fit in older stations.”

He also said that some point in time, CKFR will need a new ladder truck in Silverdale.

“The one we have now is old and not as good,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of big fires, but they’re building taller buildings in Silverdale. People are starting to build up.”

The 35-foot ladder (on the current ladder truck) won’t reach the roof of a three-story building, he said.

“We have to rely on other departments and we can’t always count on those,” he said. “It’s something we are looking at and will need to fund in the next few years.”

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