Northshore Fire Department Refinances Bonds, Saves Money

King County Fire Protection District No. 16 (Northshore Fire Department) is in the process of issuing Unlimited Tax General Obligation Refunding Bonds to refinance the 2009 Unlimited Tax General Obligation Bonds (which were issued for constructing and equipping the headquarters Fire Station 51) for interest cost savings. The District received the highest rating of AAA. The average annual reduction in the voted bond payment is $166,272 for the years 2020 through 2027. The District achieved a total net savings of $1,333,980 for taxpayers.

The District is very pleased to receive the highest rating grade of AAA, which is an upgrade from the AA+ rating previously received. This is a great accomplishment for the District and its citizens. Only one other fire district in the State of Washington has achieved the highest rating of AAA. We want to thank the Commissioners and District staff for all of their hard work.

The AAA bond rating grade was based on the following key factors: 1. Demonstrated track record of very strong fund balances in the General Fund; 2. Strength of the local economy; 3. Growth in assessed value; 4. Financial management practices and policies; and 5. Experienced management in operating the District in an efficient manner.

Board Chair, Suzanne Greathouse went on to say, “This bond rating upgrade from AA+ to AAA reflects that the District is very well-managed and has excellent financial policies and practices in place for the benefit of our taxpayers.”

“The higher the rating grade, then the lower the interest cost. We are very pleased and proud to achieve the AAA rating grade”, according to Commissioner Greathouse.

As part of the rating process, District staff prepared a presentation to S&P Global Ratings. The presentation team was comprised of Fire Chief Jim Torpin, Deputy Fire Chief Eric Magnuson, Finance Specialist Dawn Killion, Consulting CPA Tom Broetje (of CFO Selections), Board Chair Suzanne Greathouse, and Bond Underwriter Jim Nelson (of D.A. Davidson & Co.). The team presented information and answered questions relating to management, finances, local economy and long-term planning. The Unlimited Tax General Obligation Refunding Bonds were underwritten by D.A. Davidson & Co., Trading and Public Finance Office in Seattle. The 8.5-year financing achieved a True Interest Cost percent of 1.78%.

Request for Proposal: Facility Condition Assessment and Capital Funding Plan

Notice is hereby given that sealed proposals will be accepted by the Northshore Fire Department (NSFD) for a:

Facility Condition Assessment and Capital Funding Plan

Sealed proposals will be accepted at the District Headquarters located at 7220 NE 181st Street, Kenmore WA 98028 up until:

Date: June 17, 2019

Time: 4:00pm

Three hard copies of the response shall be provided in a sealed envelope addressed to Deputy Chief Eric Magnuson at NSFD headquarters (7220 NE 181st St. Kenmore WA 98028). One copy of the response shall be sent by .pdf transmission to Eric Magnuson at

Proposals received after the above referenced time and date will NOT be considered and will be returned to the submitter unopened.

Questions may be submitted in writing to Dep. Chief Eric Magnuson, who may share questions and answers with the other responders.

Dated this 20th day of May, 2019.

For additional details and proposal specifications please click here.

Fire Chief Retires

Fire Chief Jim Torpin

Fire Chief Jim Torpin and the Board of Fire Commissioners have recently entered into a mutually beneficial severance agreement allowing the Chief to retire early from the District.

Chief Torpin served the communities of Kenmore and Lake Forest Park for over 26 years, starting as a Firefighter in 1993 and promoting up through the ranks.

The District appreciates the many accomplishments Chief Torpin achieved during his tenure with the District, and wishes the Chief well in his retirement.

Over the coming weeks, the Board of Fire Commissioners will begin discussions regarding the District’s next steps.

Northshore Fire Receives ‘AAA’ Bond Rating

We are very pleased to announce that S&P Global Ratings raised Northshore Fire Department’s long-term bond rating to ‘AAA’ from ‘AA+’.

"The raised rating reflects our view of the strong property value growth in the district's local economy, which has nearly doubled over the last six years, as well as the district's maintenance of a very strong financial position, supported by additional revenue-raising flexibility," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Alyssa Farrell.

This upgraded rating provides validation of the District’s strong financial management policies and practices, along with a strong local economy and escalating property values contributing to positive operating performance.

Northshore Fire Department is now one of only two fire districts to receive a ‘AAA’ rating in Washington State.

2018 Annual Report

Northshore Fire is excited to share our 2018 Annual Report, highlighting events and accomplishments of the last year. Click below to meet our newest hires, learn about our latest equipment upgrades, and see some of the things we do when we're not fighting fires!


Thank You for Your Support

On February 12th, the Northshore Fire Department asked its citizens for approval to continue the use of the fire benefit charge method of funding emergency services. The voters have once again shown overwhelming support for their fire department by renewing the benefit charge with 90.6% of those voting in favor of the measure.

The Northshore Fire Department service area includes the Cities of Lake Forest Park and Kenmore. The benefit charge provides a stable funding source used to protect citizens and property within the jurisdiction.

The original benefit charge was first authorized in 1990 when the citizens voted to approve the use of the benefit charge method of funding. Voters have consistently reauthorized its use in 1995, 2001, 2007, 2013 and now in 2019.

On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank you for your continued support. It is an absolute honor to serve you.


Jim Torpin

Fire Chief

Notice of Prop 1 Public Hearing

NOTICE IS HERBY GIVEN that pursuant to RCW 52.18.060(1) the Board of Fire Commissioners of King County Fire Protection District No. 16 is holding a public hearing regarding King County Fire Protection District No. 16 Proposition 1, the proposition is seeking voter authorization to continue the benefit charge for the support of fire district services. The election will be held on February 12, 2019.



January 15, 2019



6:30 PM



Headquarters Station 51

7220 NE 181st Street

Kenmore, Washington 98028


DATED this 31st day of December 2018.


Click here for PDF version of this notice

911 Outage Notice – How to Contact Emergency Services

As of 9:00am Friday, December 28th, King County is still experiencing a 911 outage. Please review the information below for instructions on how to contact emergency services during this time and where to go for further updates.

Click on the notice for a printable PDF version

Northshore Fire Appoints New Commissioner

The Northshore Fire Department has appointed a new member to its Board of Fire Commissioners.  Kenmore resident, Suzanne Greathouse, was selected to fill the vacant Position No. 2 at the December 4th meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners.

Commissioner Greathouse brings with her an extensive background in business and community service.  She was appointed by unanimous vote from Commissioners Don Ellis, Rick Verlinda, Ron Gehrke and Chairman, Dave Maehren. Commissioner Greathouse will be sworn in at the December 18th Board meeting and has already begun an orientation process with other commissioners and staff members.

Greathouse is the second commissioner appointment in as many months. Ron Gehrke was appointed to Position No. 4 in October. Gehrke previously served on the Board of Fire Commissioners for 12 years.



Click here to view additional Commissioner information on our Board Bio page.

For further information on this story, contact Kate Hansen, Board Secretary at (425) 354-1780

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