Iron Springs area residents petition county to switch fire districts

MONTESANO — The county commissioners tabled a decision on whether to move the North Beach community of Iron Springs from Fire District No. 7 into Fire District No. 8.

Residents in the area successfully petitioned the county to be removed from their old fire district, effectively choosing to change which fire district should be the beneficiaries of their property tax dollars.

Community members gathered enough signatures earlier this year to request the change and submitted those signatures for validation to the Grays Harbor Auditor’s Office, which issued a certificate of sufficiency.

It was the second attempt by residents in the area, noted Auditor Vern Spatz, who said they initially submitted a petition with residents who might have owned homes in the area, but weren’t registered to vote there the first time around.

The second petition was done correctly, Spatz told the commissioners.

Fire District 7 Commissioner Darrell Haglund testified before the county commissioners on Monday that he found the issue unnecessary because residents at Iron Springs already have a 10-minute response time to get help. Haglund said the Fire District 7 commissioners were not contacted about the change by the Iron Springs residents.

Nobody from the Iron Springs community testified during public comment.

The decision behind the merger rests with the county commissioners and won’t need to go for a public vote, according to Deputy Prosecutor Jim Baker.

County Commissioner Herb Welch asked for the issue to be tabled for a week.


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