No on South Kitsap Fire District bond

South Kitsap Fire and Rescue is asking for approval of a 20-year $39,500,000 bond in November. They want to demolish five existing fire stations and replace them with only three. They claim the existing stations endanger firefighters’ health and safety.

How long have these stations been dangerous?

They claim new buildings will decrease response times, increase operational efficiencies and create room for larger apparatus and equipment. They claim septic systems and wells are failing and that current stations are at the end of their lifespan. I maintain my more than 80-year-old home, which has a 40-year-plus useable life span. The fire district says the fire stations are 40 to 50 years old. It appears the district is giving up on building and infrastructure maintenance.

The tacit suggestion of reduced response times is so tiring. Will we all “burn in our beds” unless this bond is approved? Now they claim regular levies are not big enough. What about the capital levy that is designed to pay for remodeling or replacement of buildings? There’s no mention of this.

Would you support several four-year capital levies rather than one 20-year bond? Replacing some stations gradually and remodeling others makes far more sense.

Collectively consider that South Kitsap School District just lost about 900 students. This equates to nearly a $9 million budget ‘hit.’ SKSD will ask for one, maybe two levies, this February. How much? We don’t know yet. The fire district wants almost $40 million. The state of Washington warns us of massive budget shortfalls. Levies and bonds by 1,000 cuts.

Vote no for the SKFD bond.

David Kimble

Port Orchard