The Shelley-Firth fire district is asking voters to approve a $1.7 million bond. In Shelley, the bond will pay for property and a new fire house. In Firth, the fire station will be renovated and two brush trucks purchased.
The bond request voted on last May was defeated by eight votes. The amount of the bond--$1.7 million--is the same as requested in May, however, fire district official hopes voters will approve it this time. The amount requested is not an addition to the bond that was defeated in May.
To pass this bond, a super majority of voters—67 percent—must approve.
The cost for $100,000 worth of property would increase taxes $7 each year, said Shelley fire chief Mike Carter.
If approved by voters, the USDA will buy the bonds that will finance the project. The bond would be paid back to the USDA at a low interest rate. This enables the USDA fund to be ongoing.
“Money was appropriated two years ago to purchase a new pumper,” said Assistant Fire Chief Randy Adams. “There are Army surplus 6x6 semis available for purchase that we could rig for our purposes but they have to be housed and we don’t have space.”
The semis are housed at Hill Air Force Base near Ogden, Utah.
So what would the bond finance?
For Firth, it would finance two new trucks. A new brush truck has already been purchased to improve assistance to farmers, said Firth fireman Tim Shurtz. Blacktop would be put down around the station and improvements to the building would be made.
For Shelley, district officials hope to purchase two acres of land on the north side of West Fir, across the street from Shelley High School.
The fire district would purchase one acre; the farmer who owns the acreage said he would contribute the second acre, said Adams.
A new building, similar to the newly completed Ammon Fire Maintenance Building, would be built on the site.
“We checked with neighbors and it wasn’t plausible to try to expand the [Shelley] Fire Station on its present site”, Adams explained.
“We had the State Fire Marshal in awhile back to determine the best site for a fire station,” Adams said. “We showed him three possible sites around town. This is the one he recommended.
Each year, the Shelley Fire Department tabulates the locations of fires.
“Eighty-five percent of our calls on the west side of the railroad,” Adams said.
The proposed site is on the west side of the railroad tracks. It is approximately three miles from exit 108 for easy access to the interstate. The site is also close to schools and businesses and it is out of the flood plan.
This site received a Class 1 environmental assessment with no red flags, Adams said.
“The proposed building would be a good regional facility for a staging area,” said Shurtz.
It could also offer overnight housing for emergency responders who come in to help when needed.