Chief Nelson and Assistant Chief McKay demo new breathing apparatus
The discussion concerning the new $12 million South Fire Station was easily ten times better than in previous years. Rather than dismissing it within a minute or two the Joint Capital Planning Committee actually spent a good 15 minutes discussing the l-o-n-g overdue public safety project.
Chief Nelson told the committee that they have come a long way trying to make this new station happen. The real issue at the moment is land. Once a site is chosen, then money will need to be appropriated for a design phase ($1 million or more) which will give a clearer picture of what the entire project will cost.
The $12 million figure has been used as a "placeholder" for a few years now but may not be accurate. Finance Director Sandy Pooler said it will almost certainly come down to a "Proposition 2.5 debt exclusion" to finance construction.
Pooler went on to say Town Manager Musante "Is committed to moving forward. We know it's an important project and it's very high on our list of things to get done."
Of course that list could also include other major building projects on the immediate horizon, including the Jones Library expansion, Wildwood Elementary School replacement and a new DPW building.
Stair chair makes it easier and safer to transport patients down stairs
The good thing about AFD coming to the JCPC with a total request next fiscal year of $12,336,790 is the rest of the other important items on the list -- tallying up to a half-million or so -- is a lot easier to swallow.
During a discussion of the $18,000 for an (Assistant Chief) "staff vehicle" the inevitable question about a hybrid came up. Chief Nelson pointed out that he and his two Assistant Chiefs are, "Working chiefs, not administrative chiefs. We are out on the road day and night and respond to scenes with all sorts of equipment."
Chief Nelson demonstrates "scoop stretcher"
Total requests for everything besides the new Fire Station came to $543,790 with $77,000 of that coming from the Ambulance Fund (which generates between $2 and $2.5 million annually.