Benton County Fire asking voters to help fund a new fire station

Benton County Fire asking voters to help fund a new fire station

Benton County firefighters say they need more resources to keep up with a growing population, and they’re asking for the public’s help.

West Richland has grown by almost 25 percent since 2010, and call times have increased by about 60 percent. Firefighters say response times on the western side average about 16 minutes, and they’d like to get those down to around 6.

They want voters to approve a bond to help fund a new fire station, and a couple new fire engines. If approved, it would cost residents 28 cents per $1,000 worth of property they own. It comes out to about $7 per month for the owner of a $300,000 house.

The new station would be built between West Richland and Benton City. The specific plot of land hasn’t been chosen yet.

“We’ve seen such a population growth out here. Our call volume is also increasing, and our district is expanding to the west side and that’s where we kind of have an open gap,” said Captain Carlyle with Benton County Fire District 4.

The district has built a fire station every 20 years to keep up with the population. The one on Harrington Road was built in 1977, and the one on Bombing Range was built in 1997.

Captain Carlyle says the process is still very much in the beginning stages. The district will be posting more information about the bond online, as well as holding public meetings for the community to give input.