Building for our volunteers and our community.
Building for our future.
The need to renovate Selkirk Fire District's fire stations was established years ago (click here to see the history). The buildings are unsafe for our volunteer firefighters, too small for modern apparatus and too outdated for repair. Additionally, the buildings are not code compliant and lack the proper amount of apparatus storage and operational, decontamination, meeting, training, and administrative space.
The last time Selkirk Fire District built a station was in 1965. And, as we all know, much has changed since then: apparatus has grown, more equipment is needed, and additional requirements have been put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of our volunteer firefighters.
It is essential that Selkirk Fire District has facilities which will not only protect our volunteer firefighters from contamination but also protect their families from the inadvertent contamination of their homes and vehicles. The design and size of the current firehouses make it impossible to prevent contaminated air (from trucks and apparatus) from migrating into the rest of the building. This is in direct violation of the National Fire Protection Association's guidelines.
At the same time, the population in our end of town has increased dramatically over the last 55 years and the Town projects a continued increase in residential and commercial development in the Selkirk Fire District. The number of yearly calls continues to rise and is expected to rise even more with additional growth. It’s been well documented that significant upgrades are desperately needed. And, they should be done in a cost-effective manner that ensures our fire department can meet the needs of our district residents and volunteers for the next 50 years.
In 2018, the voters of the Selkirk Fire District (SFD) rejected a $17.5 million bond proposal that proposed to construct a new state-of-the-art building on land already owned by SFD on Rt. 9W (next to A.W. Becker School), completely demolish and rebuild Station #2 and make some modest safety upgrades at Station #3. The proposed project would have increased the average homeowner’s taxes by about $100 a year.
Since then, the Building Committee has:
The Building Committee used this input to create The 2020 Plan, which the Board of Fire Commissioners unanimously voted to put on the ballot on October 6, 2020.
Taking into account the significant community and member input, The 2020 Plan has some significant differences from previous proposals:
Given the current economy, there is some belief that construction costs could be reduced, and this could result in an even more economical project providing an opportunity to make further improvements.
Now is the absolute best time to launch this project.
Bond rates are at historic lows, the fire district has no outstanding debt and has been setting aside funds to ensure this project will NOT require a tax increase.
Last, but not least, our volunteer firefighters deserve better. They continue to answer a growing number of calls each year, yet they are operating in cramped, outdated and potentially hazardous fire stations. The District needs to recruit more volunteers and having safe and modern facilities will help attract new members.
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