Fire bond one more time
Estacada Fire revises plan to save $1 million and replace its old, unsafe buildings
The Estacada Rural Fire District will be asking local property owners again to help pay for a replacement to its 48-year-old fire station.
The districts bid for a $5.6 million bond in May failed by 15 votes, so Estacada Fire Chief Bob Morrisey did his homework and presented several options to the board of directors at its June and July meetings.
Message received, he said in response to the primary election. We cut back. We changed not only the design, but also the type of construction.
The board agreed the old buildings have to go, but its members also didnt want to present a bond to voters that was similar in cost.
Morrisey said he described several scenarios for the board at its July 19 meeting to help reduce the projects cost.
The five-member board of directors chose one of the options by a vote of 4-1. Director Barry Jennings voted against the option. The boards majority voted for an option that includes a building reduced by 4,000 square feet compared with the May proposal. Also to save costs, the design proposes metal construction for the portion covering apparatus.
The difference in cost amounts to more than $1 million, Morrisey told the board when its members expressed an interest in that option.
The bond the district is likely to put on the November ballot would be a little more than $4.4 million.
In that design, the office, training and living spaces would have fewer square feet, which includes the loss of two sleeping rooms. The apparatus area would be short one bay, and would use pre-engineered metal construction.
Since the overall proposed cost is reduced by about 20 percent from the May proposal, taxpayers could expect to see a somewhat similar reduction in the districts tax proposal.
Morrisey, however, says the amount of tax revenue required to pay for the project has not been determined yet.
He said he needs to meet with a bond counsel, in the next couple of weeks, in order to determine the interest rate, which affects the total cost.
The board also considered a proposal to build a smaller main station and add two substations, one in Garfield and one in Springwater, but the majority of the board was concerned about the cost of the buildings and maintaining adequate staffing and equipment for those stations.
Another consideration was the fact that, even though the district covers 88 square miles, 80 percent of the districts calls originate within a short distance of the main station.
To make it easier for rural residents to visit with the board the panel will be holding half of its meetings in the more rural areas of the district such as Garfield, George and Springwater.
Prior to the general election, Morrisey promised more public meetings to help people understand the need for a bond and the options.
For more information, call Morrisey at 503-630-7703 or Board Chairman Matthew Silva at 503-250-1267.