Fire District 12 and city of Marysville voters will approve or reject a Regional Fire Authority during the upcoming April 23 special election.

The Marysville Fire District will hold two open houses on March 19 and 26 to talk to residents about what a Regional Fire Authority means for fire services in the region.

Both of the open houses will  be open 4-6 p.m.

The March 19 event is at Station 65 at 17500 E. Lake Goodwin Rd., Stanwood. The March 26 event is at Station 62 at 10071 Shoultes Rd., Marysville.

Connie Mennie, communications administrator with the city of Marysville, said they wanted to hold one in and outside of the city, "because the Marysville Fire District serves both the city and District 12.”

The Marysville Fire District is currently run as a contracted service by the city of Marysville.

This means the funds come from two different taxing systems run in the city and in Fire District 12. 

Local officials said that because of increasing call demands the Marysville Fire District has not had a sustainable budget for the last few years and the change to a RFA will allow for them to maintain their current services.

Families are invited to the open house events to learn more about the RFA measure or just to learn about their local firefighters.

"Kids and community members can climb inside ambulances, meet firefighters and learn about their jobs,” said Mennie.

Residents can talk to fire district officials and city officials about what a change to an RFA would mean for them.

Mennie said that officials want to show people "how they currently pay for their fire and emergency services and how they will pay if the RFA is approved,” she said.

Those changes will be different depending on if you live in Marysville or Fire District 12.

"The biggest thing we want to get across is why there is this proposal on the ballot,” said Mennie.

Information will also be available through handouts and through a short presentation scheduled for 5 p.m. at both events.

“The presentation is not required though. These aren't going to be very formal and will be casual,” said Mennie.

There are about 12 RFAs in the state of Washington, many of which have formed in the last decade, such as South Snohomish County Fire and Rescue, which was created in 2017 in the Edmonds and Lynnwood region.

"It's sort of become the model a lot of growing communities are growing toward,” said Mennie.

Mennie said that the public response has been good when interacting with the public.

"So far the reception has been pretty positive. A lot of people seem to understand that the last few years our expenses have outpaced our revenues and you can't keep running fire services like that,” she said.

More information about the RFA measure is available at marysvillewa.gov/783.

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