Okanogan County Fire District 6 has offered contract services to the Town of Twisp through the rest of the year with an option to renew for 2013- but the town has yet to agree with the district on the compensation- forcing the district to continue under a previous agreement that, according to board members, goes beyond mutual aid.
The current agreement has the district providing a fire engine for Twisp to staff and garage at their station- to serve as backup to the town’s own fire engine on an as needed basis.
However, the town has no one qualified to drive it, and too few fire fighters to staff it. In addition, the town’s fire engine has been out of service for several months, making the district’s apparatus the only one responding to fires- meaning, essentially, the district is providing fire protection services for town residents and businesses without a contract or compensation.
District 6 Fire Chief, Don Waller, told KOZI the outdated agreement goes back to 1997.
Liability is another issue that concerns the Board of Fire Commissioners, as the district is not currently insured to provide fire protection services to Twisp, so if an accident were to occur, it could leave the District taxpayers vulnerable to a lawsuit.
District 6 and the Twisp Town Council are set to meet on Monday, June 25- and District 6 will likely be pushing for long-term annexation as the fairest way to share the cost for fire protection services. The Town of Twisp has until August 7th to pass a resolution placing such a measure on the general election ballot."CLICK HERE" for Audio