Where to Find Fire/EMS Annexation Information

Where to Find Fire/EMS Annexation Information
Posted on 04/18/2022
Mill Creek voters will see Proposition 1 on their Special Election ballots. Prop. 1 asks voters to consider annexing to South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue Regional Fire Authority (South County Fire). The City’s current contract for fire and emergency medical service is coming to an end this year. South County Fire is the lowest cost option to continue the quality and level of service Mill Creek residents currently receive.

“We had a good deal for many years, but that’s over when the contract expires,” said Communications and Marketing Coordinator Scott Harder. “Whether annexation passes or fails, the reality is that property owners will pay more for these life-saving services.”

If annexation is approved, South County Fire will operate from the Mill Creek Fire Station 24 hours a day with the same number of firefighters and apparatus as are there currently. Instead of paying taxes to the City for a fire service contract, property owners would pay South County Fire directly.

Voters can learn more about South County Fire at www.southsnofire.org

Ballots must be postmarked by April 26, 2022 to count. There also is a ballot drop box location at McCollum Park (600 128th St SE, Everett, WA 98206) and near the Mill Creek Post Office (15833 Mill Creek Blvd.) where voters can deposit their ballots until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. 

City officials researched all possible options and concluded that South County Fire is the lowest cost provider for the same quality and level of service. If annexation is approved, in 2023 the City will stop collecting $4.3 million in taxes paid to the City for the current fire/EMS contract. This means the City will reduce its general property tax levy in 2023 by $2.6 million and remove the City EMS levy of $1.7 million. 

South County Fire funds emergency services with a fire levy, an EMS levy, and a benefit charge. The benefit charge replaces some property taxes in funding emergency services. It is not a tax; it is a fee based on the size and use of a structure and the resources required to fight a fire.