Twin Falls city seeks $36M bond for new fire stations

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - The city of Twin Falls is asking for $36 million on the ballot for Tuesday's election. This bond will be paid over the course of 20 years.

Debbie Dane, the co-chair of the citizens committee on fire and rescue facilities, said they spent months researching exactly what needs to be fixed with these fire stations.

The department currently has three stations in total and one out at the airport.

"The process actually started in 2017 and a group of firefighters and citizens surveyed the stations as to the needs for infrastructure. In August of last year, the council approved a citizens committee," she said.

The eight people on the committee went to council for a proposal of $36 million to reconstruct three of the standalone stations in the city.

For a home assessed value of $190,000, the annual estimated increase is about $70.64. For a home assessed value of $300,000, the annual estimated increase would be $148.72.

"The city used a professional cost estimating firm to make sure that we came to the public with firm numbers. We didn’t want to come back to the public and say, 'Oh, we miscalculated, so we need more money,'" she said.

Some of the issues the fire stations need to be improved on is being more ADA accessible. They also don't allow growth of a female firefighter in the industry, along with other issues.

"Our firefighters have to drop out their turnout gear in the bay and wait in this area to shower because there's only one shower. The sleeping areas are like sleeping in cells," she continued. "These are the folks that are responsible for our public safety. We need to provide them with the working conditions that give the wherewithal to do their jobs and protect us."

If the bond passes, fire station one will eventually be vacated and that structure will be given to the Twin Falls Police Department and their public safety campus.

"After the new fire station one would be built, that would be vacated by the fire department and then that would be repurposed for police for our public safety. It would be using and utilizing that space rather than just letting the building come into itself," she said.

The bond will also allow the stations to get a training facility as well, as Dane said the nearest "full service, full training" facility is in Meridian.

For a more detailed report on the bond and what it all entails, visit the Twin Falls city website, or click here.



 
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