The Estacada Rural Fire District will likely work with a consultant to chart out what its future might look like.
During a meeting in April, the Estacada Fire Board of Directors agreed to conduct a study that would explore the services they share with Clackamas Fire and services that could potentially be added or reduced.
However, Clackamas Fire's Board of Directors had requested a broad study that would also examine the possibility of merging the two districts.
Because Estacada opted out of the full study, Clackamas Fire gave notice that it intends to withdraw next January from the existing intergovernmental agreement, which was formed two years ago.
During a meeting on Thursday, June 21, Estacada Fire board members approved president Matthew Silva's motion to hire Michael Hansen Consulting LLC to examine options for the district.
The contract with Hansen is dependent on approval of the district's attorney, though Silva noted the attorney had previously said the firm is reputable.
Silva noted that Hansen, a retired fire chief, "can show us a path, or a couple of paths, of what would be beneficial for the citizens and for the district."
Silva said the cost would not exceed $6,000 and estimated that it would likely come to half of that figure.
The district's Board of Director's partnership with Hansen will involve a work session in August.
Through its current partnership with Clackamas, the Estacada Rural Fire District receives training opportunities, command and control services and additional aid for fires and other incidents. Additionally, the agreement helps fund a position at the Eagle Creek Fire Station for 40 hours a week, and a battalion chief comes to Estacada from the Boring Fire Station on nights and weekends. The Estacada Rural Fire District pays $240,000 per year for these services.
If the IGA comes to an end, Estacada Fire would still receive a certain amount of fire response services from Clackamas Fire through the mutual aid program.
During the June board meeting, Estacada resident Bev Croghan questioned what the district would look like without the intergovernmental agreement with Clackamas.
"I truly hope that when they're gone you have a plan to continue," she told the board.