City of Bellingham and Whatcom County Fire District 8 officials met for the first time June 26 to begin discussing creation of a Regional Fire Authority (RFA). The formation of a planning committee is the first official step for the two organizations to start the planning process.
The RFA planning committee includes three elected officials from each organization. Mayor Kelli Linville, Councilmember Terry Bornemann, and Councilmember Michael Lilliquist represent the City of Bellingham. Fire Commissioners Roger Busswell, David Lehmann, and Rob Neher represent Whatcom County Fire District 8.
The planning committee will be meeting regularly over the next several months to determine the feasibility of a regional fire protection authority and develop a service plan. This plan would outline what fire services should be provided, how the RFA should be governed, and how the RFA should be funded. If a plan is developed, it would be submitted to the full City Council and Board of Fire Commissioners for consideration to be placed on a ballot for the voters to approve.