The city wants to build three new fire stations for the sum of $36 million. They estimate a cost of $35.4 million, but rounded it up to $36 million? I guess $0.6 million is just pocket change when it is our tax dollar they are spending.
I agree that stations 2 and 3 are deficient, Station 1 not so much. That may be why Station 1 was not included in the open house.
If you look at the fine print, Station 1 will be replaced and re-purposed to a police training facility. This remodel comes with a $5 million price tag. The police just had a multi-million dollar remodel of the old city hall and the old police station.
Stations 2 and 3 have needed attention for at least 20 years. Why now do they need to be replaced at once?
There are plans for a Station 5 in the near future; that isn't included in this bond. $36 million divided by three is $12 million for each station. Take away the $5 million for the police training leaves $10.33 million for each station.
The city Of Caldwell, population 58,000, has two fire stations and is in the process of building a third needed station. The estimated cost of this station is $5 million. Why can a fire station be built in Caldwell for $5 million and at least double that here for each?
We are faced with numerous bonds ahead: $36 million fire bond, $40 million recreation center, $60 million new jail, not to mention fire Station 5 and how long before new schools.
Our increasing tax bill far exceeds our non-increasing income. Until they get realistic on these bonds and needs, I will be forced to vote "No," and I urge you to do the same.