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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Voters overwhelmingly support Fairfield joining Spokane County Fire District 2

Fairfield residents in southeastern Spokane County will now have more say over their firefighting services.

Voters in Fairfield and unincorporated parts of District 2 Tuesday overwhelmingly supported the annexation of the town into the district, with initial results showing 85% in favor of the resolution.

Fairfield disbanded its fire department in the early 2000s, and the town has contracted with the fire district of 25 volunteer firefighters ever since.

District Chief Eric Olson said the annexation will make things easier for all parties.

“It’s really just an administrative headache, because every so often we have to go back to the town and reauthorize that contract,” Olson said.

Olson said Fairfield residents are expected to go from paying property taxes at a rate of $1.04 per $1,000 of assessed property value under the contractual agreement to $1.08 per $1,000 – the same as property owners in the unincorporated areas of the district.

The increase will bring in an additional $30,000 to the district’s annual operating budget of $150,000.

Olson said he is glad that the nearly 600 residents of Fairfield will now be able to vote on any potential future levy increases and serve on the board of commissioners.

He believes it addresses a lack of representation for the townsfolk who rely on the district’s firefighting and medical care services, and increases the pool of qualified candidates willing to run for the board that oversees the district.

“We’re just happy the town and the county came out and voted,” Olson said. “We worked pretty hard to get some information out there, so we’re glad it was well-received and the benefits were clear.”