The committee that has spent the year studying the formation of a Regional Fire Authority (RFA) between Snohomish County Fire District 12 and the City of Marysville has concluded that an RFA would best serve residents and taxpayers in the greater Marysville area. An RFA is a special purpose district and independent taxing authority that provides funding for fire and emergency medical services.
The RFA Planning Committee's unanimous recommendation next goes before the Fire District 12 Board of Commissioners and the Marysville City Council to decide whether to forward the proposal for an April ballot measure. If so, voters in Marysville and Fire District 12 will decide whether to form an RFA and approve its funding.
"We've been on this journey for the last several years," Mayor Jon Nehring said. "It took a lot of hard work and tenacity, and it's exciting to have reached a solid plan."
Fire Chief Martin McFalls added, "I know an RFA would be a game-changer for generations to come. For a humble kid who grew up in Marysville, I feel proud to be a part of this proposal."
Currently the Marysville Fire District provides fire and emergency medical services in the City of Marysville and Fire District 12, which includes the areas of Seven Lakes, Lakewood and portions of the Tulalip Indian Reservation and unincorporated Snohomish County. The service area would not change under the RFA proposal. The Marysville Fire District was formed by an interlocal agreement between the City of Marysville and Fire District 12.
Fire and emergency medical services are some of the most important services that jurisdictions provide to their residents. Because population growth and changing demands are impacting service delivery, the city and fire district appointed the RFA Planning Committee to explore whether an RFA could help meet increasing demands, enhance operational efficiencies and provide sustainable funding for these critical services. Committee meetings were open to the public in addition to public "community conversations" held Sept. 27 and Oct. 17. There are currently 12 RFAs in Washington state, almost all in western Washington.