Recently, the Methow Valley News ran a story on the upcoming ballot issues being run by the Town of Winthrop and Okanogan County Fire District #6 to get voter approval for bonds to be issued to pay for a new fire truck (Town of Winthrop) and a new fire hall (Okanogan County Fire District 6). The article contained some inaccuracies as to who was being asked to approve and pay for each item. The correct information is as follows:
Town of Winthrop Fire Truck bond proposition (August 19th ballot):
Voters within the Town of Winthrop will be asked to approve a bond issue to pay for a new pumper truck to replace the current pumper owned by the Town which is over 23 years old and does not meet current National Fire Protection Association standards. Only voters within the Town of Winthrop will vote on this measure and only they will pay for the bond if the measure is approved.
Okanogan County Fire District 6 Fire Station bond proposition (November 4th ballot):
Voters within Okanogan County Fire District 6 (which does not include the town of Winthrop) will be asked to approve a bond issue to pay for a new OCFD6 fire station. Voters within the Town of Winthrop will not have this proposition on their ballots and will not pay for the bond if the measure is approved.
The Town of Winthrop and Okanogan County Fire District 6 enjoy a close working relationship and currently share a fire station. The Town contracts with OCFD6 for the operation of the Town's fire department. This close relationship benefits the Town's citizens by providing access to more equipment and personnel than the Town could otherwise afford on its own. However, to the casual observer, it can occasionally cause some confusion as evidenced by the recent MV News article. Hopefully, this post will clear up who is being asked to approve and pay for what.