Council will hear about transition to fire authority

Renton's RFA will become effective July 1. City council will hear a special presentation on transition details May 16.

The Renton Regional Fire Authority will become effective July 1 following its approval by voters in Renton and King County Fire District 25 in the April 26 special election.

The Renton City Council will hear a special presentation at its meeting May 16 on transition details, according to city spokeswoman Preeti Shridhar.

The measure has held a comfortable lead since the initial results were released election night. The results released Tuesday were 62.64 percent or 8,335 “yes” votes to 37.36 percent or 4,971 “no” votes. The percentages changed only slightly with the release of new results.

The election will be certified today, Friday.

Roughly 24 percent or about 13,560 voters of the 55,530 voters in the city of Renton and Fire District 25 cast a mail-in ballot.

A similar fire authority on the Eastside that would have joined King County Fire Protection districts 10 and 38 was defeated. Voters in the Kent Regional Fire Authority reauthorized the funding mechanism for that authority; that authority was formed in 2010.

The Renton authority would be funded by a six-year, fire-benefit charge that will not exceed 60 percent of the authority’s operating budget and a property tax not to exceed $1 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The city of Renton already provides fire and medical emergency services to Fire District 25 through a contract. Under the RFA, Renton and Fire District would merge and will have dedicated funding separate from the city’s revenues.

Three Renton City Council members and three fire district commissioners would govern the RFA.