The Washington State Auditor's Office will be releasing a report in the next few months about a modular home project by Enumclaw/King County Fire Protection District No. 28 that has exceeded initial budget estimates and drawn anger from local taxpayers.
This was reported by The Seattle Times on Sunday as it provided a detailed timeline of events that led up to the final pricetag of the district's costly project, more than $300,000, to put in a living quarters at the Cumberland station.
What began as a genuine desire to cut down on response times in this area of the fire district had spiraled into a financial fiasco that included citations for purchasing and conflict of interest violations, frustration with county bureaucracy and allegations of out of control spending by concerned citizens.
As stated in the story, Patch first reported both the cost of the modular home and the 2010 State Audit that called out purchasing and conflict of interest law violations this past March.
The Times reported that outside of Enumclaw, fire projection districts across the state have been cited at least 117 times in the last 10 years for errors or violations based on information from the State Auditor's Office.
Local residents have taken advice from the Auditor's Office on the propensity for fire protection districts to fall into areas of questionable financial management and made numerous requests this year of the fire district for invoices and other financial documents.
In July, the fire district implemented a step in its Master Plan to form a Community Advisory Group (CAG) that would help to make recommendations on the department's operating and capital budgets. The group, intended to be composed of various members of the community appointed by the fire chief, has met three times. During it's Sept. 27 meeting, local business owners Ted DeVol and Mike Qualls continued to question leaders over the mobile home project. According to meeting minutes, they also questioned how the group was formed and whether meetings were properly advertised.
The meetings are open to the public. Patch does receive notices from the fire district on upcoming meetings and posts them on the events calendar. Also visit www.enumclawfire.com for updates.