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Fire Chief Ted Kunze talks with the URA about unfinished fire district projects and how the agency can help

Canby Fire Chief Ted Kunze made a presentation at the last Canby Urban Renewal Agency meeting to talk about uncompleted fire district projects.Fire Chief Ted Kunze has asked the Canby Urban Renewal Agency to include a $400,000 placeholder in its next budget toward uncompleted fire district projects.

Kunze, who retires in July, made a presentation at the March 12 meeting relating the history of the URA. His purpose was to make sure that history and the agreements it engendered aren’t forgotten.

The URA got off to a rocky start but eventually reached an agreement that satisfied the fire district and other stakeholders.

That agreement included three URA projects for the fire district totaling $2.75 million, or about equal to the tax revenue the district would forego to the URA.

Only $500,000 of that amount has been spent, Kunze said. That went to the first project, remodeling the main fire station on South Pine Avenue to accommodate growth.

The other two projects are pending.

The second project was for about $1.5 million to build a district training center, preferably in Pioneer Industrial Park. Presently, firefighters train using the station parking lot and station roof.

Ownership of the training center would eventually go to the fire district. The training center would also be available to the Canby Police Department and other agencies.

The third project was to be $750,000 to buy and improve land for a north side fire station, which would alleviate the potential issue of responders being delayed by railroad trains.

However, new data that emerged over the years indicates that the potential problem was less than thought, Kunze said. Railroad delays do not occur that frequently or last that long and a north side station was not necessary.

As a result, the district would prefer the money be used instead to purchase equipment including trucks, fire apparatus and other big-ticket items, Kunze said.

The Urban Renewal District expires after 20 years, he noted.

Kunze said he would like to see the $400,000 placeholder for new fire equipment put in the next URA budget.

“We’re coming up to 2019,” Kunze said. “We need to start planning how to take care of the $2.5 million in fire district projects that we haven’t addressed yet.”

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