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November 19, 2010

Officials meet next week to start formal discussions regarding the creation of a new regional fire authority.
The authority, if established, would replace the three fire agencies that cover the greater Wenatchee area including Chelan County Fire District 1, Douglas County District 2 and Wenatchee City Fire and Rescue.

The three entities already work together in response to fires in the Greater Wenatchee area through automatic and mutual aid agreements. But proponents say there would be longterm cost benefits by consolidating manpower, equipment and facilities under one management authority.

Douglas County District 2 Chief Chuck Fenton says his Commissioners are concerned that if Douglas County District 2 were to be dissolved, property tax rates would have to be increased under a Regional Fire Authority.

The planning committee, which meets next Wednesday, is comprised of the elected boards of Commissioners of both rural fire districts and three members of the Wenatchee City Council. If the plan moves forward, Voters in all three jurisdictions would have the final say.


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