Wash. Officials to Close Dilapidated, Move Firefighter

July 15--SILVERDALE -- The Tracyton fire station will close by the end of the year, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue commissioners decided unanimously Monday.

Station 44, a volunteer station on Tracy Street, was built in 1963 and requires about $500,000 in repairs, according to a report by Paul Anderson, CKFR repair and maintenance manager.

Rebuilding the station would cost as much as $1.5 million, according to Anderson's report.

Tracyton volunteers will be reassigned to Meadowdale Station 41 on Old Military Road.

A report prepared by CKFR Capt. Greg Platz indicates that the move could be done in 90 days.

According to Platz's report, Station 41 needs $25,650 worth of additional equipment and upgrades to accommodate the move. That includes $3,300 for new computers and phones for volunteer use, $4,000 for dorm room upgrades, $4,000 for office furniture and filing cabinets, and $3,000 for bunker gear racks to store outfits used to fight fires.

Other listed items include $2,450 for new televisions and DVD players, $2,400 for three new recliners and $3,000 for a new projector.

Because of the overlapping coverage areas in the district, response times and insurance rates in the Tracyton area will not be affected, according to CKFR.

From 2009 to 2013, there were 3,404 calls in the Tracyton station coverage area and Tracyton volunteers were one of the top three stations on scene in their coverage area nearly 2,970 times.

Tracyton station staff were first on scene for about 60 of those calls, 1.82 percent of the time. Station 41 staff was the first on scene nearly 70 percent of the time in the same coverage area.

Tracyton resident Gary Keenan, who spoke Monday and during a March meeting on the closure, said that the repair costs estimated for the Tracyton Station were too high. He also questioned the need for maintenance there.

"I don't really see those problems," Keenan said. "I think your numbers have been created to look that way."

He also said that he did not think it was fair to compare response times of a volunteer station to a full-time staff station.

Keenan was the only person to comment on the station potentially closing before the commissioners voted.

What ultimately becomes of the property remains unknown. The board has discussed designating it as surplus, a precursor to sale. But Commissioner Dick West suggested seeing how the closure affects CKFR before selling the station.

Copyright 2014 - Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, Wash.