BONNEY LAKE: City given East Pierce outlook

The Bonney Lake City Council was presented a 2010 outlook by East Pierce Fire and Rescue during a Jan. 5 workshop.

Deputy Fire Chief John McDonald told the council there is an $800,000 reduction in this year’s budget, but the district has not had to layoff any employees or reduce services.

“We had a reduction in our property tax revenues based on the new assessed evaluations,” McDonald explained. “We’re up against our limit.”

He said East Pierce is engaged with a merger with Pierce County Fire District 8 which covers Edgewood. There is an election on Feb. 9 for Edgewood voters to approve the merger, McDonald said.

“It’s an opportunity for us to bring in some new opportunities and new ideas to become more efficient,” McDonald said.

East Pierce is also discussing a merger with Milton, but McDonald said it’s more of a challenge because part of Milton is in King County.

McDonald said the district is involved in a strategic leadership plan under Chief Jerry Thorson.

He said the strategic leadership plan is a two-prong approach that examines at everything the district does and determines if the district is providing the best service with the taxpayers’ money.

“It’s a chance for us to step back and reevaluate everything that we do,” McDonald said.

He said the plan also includes personnel from all levels of the organization from entry level firefighters to the chief and fire commissioners.

“We are developing leaders for the future as they gain experience and move up in their career,” McDonald said.

The district is also working on developing a training facility and reviewing locations of the stations.

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