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City to choose ballot proposal for new fire station

by Judy Reed

Residents of the City of Cedar Springs will vote in November on whether to approve a bond issue for a new fire station, and the City Council will decide Thursday evening (August 9) which proposal to put before the voters.

“The City Council would appreciate any comments regarding what proposal to put in front of the voters at the November election,” said City Manager Mike Womack.

Finding a spot to build a new fire station has been in the plans for several years. The department has outgrown its current station, on W. Maple Street, and when the decision was made to build the new library next door, a committee was formed to plan the new fire station and find a site for it. The site for the new station is planned for the southeast corner of Elm and Second Street.

According to Womack, the Fire Station Relocation Committee (composed of various community members with an interest in investigating the needs of a new fire station building) worked diligently to develop plans for a building that would be able to operate 50 years into the future while being both attractive and functional. It will include a training room for the firefighters, which will also be made available to the public as a meeting room.

“The Fire Station Committee chose to be practical and pragmatic in their approach to designing the building to meet both current and future needs,” he explained. “It is no secret that the City is growing and experiencing significant economic development. That and the coverage the fire department provides for Nelson Township led to the desire to provide the fire department a building that would better enhance their ability to continue their work, especially in regards to incoming bigger and taller buildings.”

He said that the building is also being designed to serve as a rally point for emergency response teams in the instance that the City or the surrounding areas suffer a calamity.

The cost of the new fire station is estimated at $2,991,741, and the City will be putting a proposal on the ballot so voters can authorize the city to purchase bonds to fund it. The City Council will look at three different proposals tonight (Thursday, August 9) and decide which one to have the public vote on.

The proposal will allow the city to borrow the principal amount not to exceed $3,115,000 to pay the cost of designing, acquiring, constructing, furnishing, and equipping a new fire station, and acquisition and improvement of the site of the building, acquisition of fire equipment, apparatus and vehicles, and other related expenses and improvements.

The first proposal is a 15-year bond proposal. The estimated millage to be levied in the first year of levy is 3.455363 mills ($3.455363) for each $1,000 of taxable value) and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds is 3.4290 mills ($3.4290 for each $1,000 of taxable value).

The second proposal is for a 20-year bond proposal. The estimated millage to be levied in the first year of levy is 2.852453 mills ($2.852453) for each $1,000 of taxable value) and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds is 2.8415 mills ($2.8415 for each $1,000 of taxable value).

The third proposal is for a 25-year bond proposal. The estimated millage to be levied in the first year of levy is 2.491731 mills ($2.491731) for each $1,000 of taxable value) and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds is 2.4929 mills ($2.4929 for each $1,000 of taxable value).

Womack said they could not yet say when the millage would go into effect if approved. “It depends on when you send the bonds out,” he explained. “It might take a year to get construction going.”

The City Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

 

 

 

 

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