Nova Scotia referendum on new fire station, other upgrades Tuesday – The Daily Gazette
SCOTLAND – Nova Scotia residents will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether the village should bond about $13.8 million over 24 to 26 years to build a new fire hall and renovate the current village hall, which also houses the police department.
Over the years, the village has accumulated boxes of documents and studies evoking the need to modernize its facilities, which are at least a century old. None of the facilities meet the needs of the employees who work there or the tasks that come with their jobs, officials said. They also don’t meet certain safety standards, including those that make buildings compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Mayor Tom Gifford, also a volunteer firefighter with the department, pushed his final year on the board to get the bond approved so the village could move forward with the project.
In 2008, the village held a referendum for the project, which at that time was estimated to be worth over $8 million. It failed.
Prior to the final public information session on Thursday evening, the public was invited to tour the facilities.
Amanda Gonzalez-Barone, owner of Girl Fight Fitness, who is also running for a seat on the village council and attended the forums, said she had to wiggle her tripod around the tight spaces of the fire station in order to illustrate the conditions for those who could not attend the open day.
She and others recognize the need for the facilities, but are concerned about the cost since taxes have increased in the village over the years and this project would increase taxes.
“We need to have a better fire station,” said one resident. “We need a better police station. We can’t afford the cost.
The fire department has a maximum of four career firefighters, a minimum of three stationed on duty during the day, as well as the chief and a maximum of three or a minimum of two at night. Apart from this new information, much of what was said in previous meetings was reiterated to the handful of people who attended in person with two people on zoom.
The project involves the construction of a new fire station of approximately 14,000 square feet in part of the municipal land behind the village hall. This area is down from a space of nearly 16,000 square feet previously mentioned. This change allowed for the addition of parking spaces to what remained of the land. This lot currently allows for 57 spaces and would have 41 spaces under the new plan.
The size reduction also meant a cost reduction from $9.9 million to $8.75 million.
The department has seven vehicles that would be housed at the facility – four large rooms and three small rooms.
The proposed building would be 80 feet in length with four doors. There would be three bays with two vehicles each, then room for a vehicle to park in a smaller bay. The other half of the project plans to spend $5 million to renovate the existing village hall to better meet the needs of village and police department employees and meet various compliance requirements, including ADA standards.
If this goes ahead, that means a Nova Scotia resident whose home is valued at $100,000 could face a tax increase of $193 a year.
If approved, the design process will begin and then the village will have to bid on the project, said Sean Foran, vice president of fire protection services for Hueber Breuer, the Syracuse-based construction management company. with which the village works. If the offers come back too high, the project will not be carried out.
“The village cannot spend more than what is publicly approved,” Foran said.
The only way he could go ahead with a project that costs more than the $13.8 million he wants to bond is to get public approval for more money.
Videos from the forums can be viewed on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGbVFDQrfJ54neJuszEf8sQ.
Election Day Information
When: Noon to 9 p.m., Tuesday, June 7
Where: Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 103 S. Reynolds St.
Who can vote: you are registered in scotia to vote, own or rent property in scotia that is also your primary residence.
If you are a business owner but do not live in Scotland, you cannot vote in the referendum. If you own a rental property but do not live there full-time, you cannot vote in the referendum.
People can register to vote on the day of the referendum.
Journalist Shenandoah Brière can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @SB_DailyGazette.
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