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February 19, 2020

Politics

The Bedford firehouse, pictured after Bedford Village's tree lighting. Photo Credit: Daily Voice file
The Bedford Fire Department posted this informational flyer on its web site to announce informational meetings leading up to Tuesday's bond vote. Photo Credit: Provided

Taxpayers Asked To OK New $14.8 Million Fire Station

Bedford taxpayers are being asked to approve a scaled-down $14.8 million bond for a new firehouse on Tuesday, Jan. 14. 

The vote takes place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bedford Presbyterian Church, 44 Village Green.

A costlier version of the project was defeated by 32 votes of Bedford residents on April 30, 2019.

Bedford's current fire station is 91 years old. It is wedged between the Bedford Public Library and the U.S. Post Office.

The new fire station would be located a quarter-mile south of the village, by the intersection of state Routes 172 and 22, and would be about twice as large as the current firehouse.

By a vote of 651 to 619, voters last spring rejected a $17.5 million bond to build the new firehouse.

The current firehouse is extremely crowded and fails to comply with federal requirements for accessibility.

The firehouse is so outdated that the BFD’s six pieces of apparatus are parked three-deep in a single bay, with turnout gear stored in portable lockers between the trucks. The bay also lacks exhaust fans for diesel fumes.

The new building would include a bunk room, a decontamination area for firefighters, training facilities and extensive storage for firefighting gear and equipment.

In 2018, the fire district initially proposed borrowing $15 million, but last spring upped the borrowing package by $2.5 million to cover the costs for a deep foundation required by soil conditions at the site for the new firehouse.

Paying off the bond would increase annual property taxes about $200 for a homeowner with a house valued at $650,000. 

Additional project details can be found by clicking here.