The city of Marysville is abandoning talks with Arlington about merging fire departments.
The two agencies, along with Fire District 12, have been meeting since 2016. They were considering the formation of a regional fire authority, a new government body that would levy its own taxes and provide fire protection and emergency medical services. Snohomish County has two fire authorities so far, one in Stanwood and another recently formed in south county.
Public safety consumes a huge portion of local government spending, and the costs are rising. Proponents of consolidations say they save resources and improve services, but the negotiations often snag on politics and local control.