Fire Commissioners Minutes May 8, 2017


(Minutes pending approval)


May 8, 2017

Commissioner Chip Bogosian, Chairman, called the Regular Fire Commissioners meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

Present:  Commissioners Bogosian, Murphy and Margeson, Chief G. Francis, PIO L. Francis and Secretary Murray.

Community members:  None.

The minutes of April 10, 2017 were unanimously approved as written.

Treasurer’s Report:

Beginning May Operating Fund cash balance was $94,912.70. Beginning May General Investment Fund balance was $11,404.36. Beginning May Capital Fund cash balance was $37,532.75. Beginning May Capital Investment Fund balance was $67,508.81. Invoices of $9,764.51 and payroll of $3,458 totaled $13,222.51. Firefighter stipends for April (responses, meetings, trainings) were $1,713 for a grand total of $14,935.51 in April expense.

Noting that only $56,094.04 in taxes had been received in the month of April, Commissioner Murphy began a discussion about how much tax revenue has been collected to date and how much remains. [According to County reports for the period ending January 31, 2017, we had $3,611.34 in taxes receivable from previous years plus $159,609.12 for 2017 – a combined total of $163,220.46. As of April 30, $72,050.21has been received with $91,176.50 remaining in taxes receivable.] Is this a yearly pattern, where April represents less than half of taxes due with balance coming later? He asked Secretary Murray to check previous years and report at the next meeting whether or not this is typical.

Open:  None.

Chief’s Report:  See separate report for a list of drills and responses. GIFD Commissioners rehired retired firefighters Larry Pyke and Mark Spahr. West Skagit Training Center – some of the districts involved in the project had questions about billing for work done. District 13 is handling costs and participating districts pay their portion. A meeting of Chiefs is scheduled for May 15 with one Commissioner from each district invited to attend. Commissioner Margeson will attend the meeting with Chief Francis. On May 31, GIFD will train with the ferry crew to look at fire points (firefighting capabilities and location of hoses and equipment on the MV Guemes).

Old Business: Chief Francis met with Ferry Manager Rachel Rowe to discuss problems experienced getting an after-hours crew during the ferry outage. Ms. Rowe reiterated the previously known position of the County’s legal department that Skagit County is not obligated by law to provide after-hours crew. Due to union contracts, there is no requirement that ferry crew be on call and they are not paid as such. When an after-hours crew is called out, they do so as a courtesy. They are paid only for their time. Ms. Rowe stated that she has been with the Skagit County Ferry for 11 years and this is the first time they were unable to provide an after-hours crew (although stormy weather has prevented the ferry from sailing at night on occasion). A helicopter was dispatched for the emergency in question. Commissioner Bogosian pointed out that air medical transportation by Airlift Northwest is available as insurance coverage for $79 per year for the entire household. GIFD has brochures available for residents interested in coverage, or they can visit the website There are no guarantees, however, because extreme weather conditions can ground helicopters as well as prevent ferry sailing.

Fireworks signage – Ferry Manager Rowe determined that a banner 19 feet long by 43 inches wide will work for the superstructure on the Anacortes dock. County staff or ferry crew will hang the sign. Sign materials and verbiage are still being determined. Ms Rowe stated that the Coast Guard has backed away from declaring incidental fireworks as hazardous material that is illegal to transport on the ferry. However, it was noted that possession of fireworks is illegal in the City of Anacortes, making use of City law enforcement an option. With regard to signs to be posted on the island, Commissioner Margeson contacted the County sign shop and was told that several 30x30-inch used metal sign blanks are available at no cost. GIFD will clean up or prep the metal, and pay for new imaging, materials, and finishing. Commissioner Margeson moved that GIFD set a maximum of $2,000 for preparation of superstructure and island signs, including costs of mounting and installation. Commissioner Murphy seconded and motion passed unanimously. The project is to be completed by June 20. This will be Resolution 377.

New Business: In a peersonnel matter prior to the public meeting, Commissioners interviewed two candidates for the position of Treasurer/Secretary. Commissioners stated that both candidates are qualified and it will be a difficult decision. They did not make their decision immediately; however, they plan to choose a new Treasurer/Secretary soon so training can begin.

Commissioner Bogosian noted that the Guemes Island Firefighters Asscoiation has scheduled their First Annual Pancake Feed for Saturday, May 27. The event will be held at the church hall from 8:00 am until noon. Commissioners expressed best wishes for a successful event.

 The Commissioners reviewed the invoices from April 7 to May 5, 2017 and approved invoices in the amount of $9,764.51 and payroll of $3,458 for total of $13,222.51.

The next regular meeting will be June 12, 2017, at 7 PM in the Fire Hall.

The meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm.

Submitted by

Diane Murray, Secretary         


                                                   Skagit County Fire District 17

                                          Commissioner Chip Bogosian, Chairman

Chief's Report April 2017

GIFD Budget Report May 2017