Proposed Seattle vacant building demolition bill could cost city up to $500,000

(The Center Square) – An emergency bill to allow the Seattle Fire Department to conduct demolition of unsafe vacant buildings in Seattle would cost the city up to $500,000 this year before potential reimbursements.

The emergency legislation was proposed by Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell on Thursday. The Seattle Public Safety Committee was briefed on the proposed bill on Tuesday.

Harrell’s emergency legislation comes as a result of the number of fires in vacant buildings surging in recent years. According to Harrell’s office, there were 77 vacant building fires in 2021, 91 in 2022, and 130 in 2023. Three of the 130 fires were deadly.

Through April 15, there have been 30 fires in vacant buildings in 2024. 

According to a fiscal note, the city would have to develop a blanket contract with several vendors if the bill is passed and the city fire code is amended. The costs associated could
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