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Merger will be considered in November and would need to be approved by voters in both areas to take effect

COURTESY PHOTO - In November, voters will decide if the Estacada Rural Fire District should merge with Clackamas Fire.

In November, voters in Estacada and Clackamas will decide if their fire districts should merge.

An ordinance to ask voters if the Estacada Rural Fire District should merge with Clackamas Fire has been approved by Estacada Fire's board of directors and the Estacada City Council.

The ordinance was approved 4-1 by Estacada Rural Fire District's Board of Directors on Thursday, June 18, and unanimously, by the Estacada City Council on Monday, June 22. It was previously approved 4-1 by Clackamas Fire's board of directors on Monday, June 15.

Estacada Fire Director John McAdoo and Clackamas Fire Director Marilyn Wall were the sole dissenting votes from both groups.

The question of Estacada Fire merging with Clackamas Fire will appear on the November ballot. To take effect, the integration will need to be approved by voters in both Clackamas and Estacada.

Per the resolution, the proposed merger would absorb Estacada into Clackamas Fire, who would be responsible for all funds, property and contracts; rights and responsibilities; uncollected taxes, assessments or charges; liabilities and debts; and records of the merged districts.

The fire districts have collaborated with one another for several years.

After establishing an IGA in 2016, Clackamas and Estacada fire districts entered into a contract for service at the beginning of this year. Through the contract, which lasts through June 30, 2021, Clackamas Fire staffs the Estacada Fire Station with three firefighters for all 24-hour shifts, something that Estacada Fire previously was only able to provide 68% of the time. The George Fire Station is staffed with additional volunteers, and Clackamas provides Estacada with 24-hour fire chief coverage.

If the merger is approved, staffing at the Estacada Fire Station will increase to four people.

Last summer, a feasibility study from Emergency Services Consulting International was paid for by the Estacada and Clackamas fire districts and recommended a merger.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the possibility for in-person meetings, Clackamas Fire will facilitate an online outreach campaign. Information will be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Additionally, there will be information sessions via Zoom.

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