The Morning News â€” Leslie Mielke
Fire trucks are two deep in the Shelley Fire Station for Chief Mike Carter.
Voters in the Shelley-Firth Fire District will be asked to approve a $1.7 million bond to build a new fire station in Shelley and to renovate the existing Firth fire station on the May 15 ballot.
The cost to property owners in the fire district depends on the tax value of the person's property.
If your home is worth $100,000, the rate for fire protection will increase $7 each year. This is a cost of 58 cents each month.
If your home is worth $200,000, the rate will increase $21.86 for a monthly increase of $1.82.
The installments for the bond will not extend over 30 years.
"We need a new fire station because we don't have room," said Shelley Fire Chief Mike Carter. "We park some of our equipment outside. Two trucks were kept in a potato cellar during the winter.
The buildings for the volunteer fire fighters and EMS volunteers are too small, he said. The training room and facilities are not adequate.
"The reason we are doing this now is because the construction costs are low right now," he said. "Material and labor is still a good buy.
"The place where we can get the best interest rate has a lot of extra money this year," Carter said. "Our chances of getting this low interest rate are better now than they were last year. There probably won't be this much money available next year.
"Now is the time to act, he said.
Plans for the new station include five bays that would house all equipment plus have some room to grow for the future.
The planned conference room would be available to the community, Carter said. One hundred people would be able to attend a meeting in it.
"There is a dire need to build a new fire station in Shelley," said Bingham County Commission chairman Cleone Jolley. "Right now, they need to park [some of their trucks] outside.
"They need more room," he said. "They have good equipment and good men.
"They have my full support," Jolley said. "Renovations will also be done in the Firth station."
"This new station is needed," said Craig Rowland, Bingham County Director of Emergency Management. "They don't have enough space. They don't have space to train.
"A lot of the equipment is parked outside instead of inside where it can stay warm," said Rowland.
"A new fire station will adequately serve our district's need for the foreseeable future," said Carter. "We are looking at a building that should last 30 years."