Since July 2011, the Camas and Washougal fire departments have been taking part in a functional consolidation as a way to pinpoint financial and process efficiencies and improve service levels.
That effort’s long-term future will likely be decided soon, as elected officials consider information provided in a recently released consultant’s report.
“I was impressed with the report in the way it pointed toward the fact that the work we’ve done together has yielded some substantial positive results that were surprising to [consultant Paul Lewis] and frankly surprising to me,” said Camas City Councilman Steve Hogan. “There are some interesting options, but I think it really stated or proved that the cooperation between all parties was impressive.”
The three options on the table include having the cities continue on the current path toward a complete functional consolidation; pursue the formation of a regional fire authority taxing district that must be authorized by a citizen vote; or go back to operating as independent fire departments with a joint ambulance transport agreement.
The report prepared by Lewis indicated that while the functional consolidation method reflects the lowest overall cost, the costs to revenues and expenditures associated with each of the structures are comparable.