COPPERAS COVE — Residents approved a $4.7 million bond for a new fire station and fire equipment in Tuesday’s election.
According to the unofficial election results, the bond received 4,684 (69.5 percent) votes in favor and 2,057 (30.5 percent) votes against.
“The people understand firefighters need a good place to work out of,” said Mayor John Hull about residents’ decision on the issue. “The thing that we have out there now for them has just outlived its life. It is not big enough for the size of the trucks we have now, and it is crowded.”
Funding from the bond will construct a new fire station at Grimes Crossing Road and Avenue B to replace the facility located outside City Park at 1208 W. Avenue B. It also would purchase a new ladder-platform truck and a new brush fire truck for the city.
Station 2 was built in 1977, houses one fire engine, a brush truck, an ambulance and a reserve engine. It is roughly 3,400 square feet. The new station’s preliminary design depicts larger engine bays, living and sleeping quarters and more storage, equipment and working space for firefighters.
The design plans call for the creation of a 11,204-square-foot facility, which could add two more bays in the future.
Moving the station was originally proposed to the city, after an insurance study stated the facility would need to be relocated to improve the city’s fire responses as the municipality grows in the future.
The study also called for a fourth station to be located on Constitution Drive.
The $4.7 million bond would be a 20-year loan. It currently has an estimated interest rate of 3.25 percent and could add 2 cents to the city’s property tax rate to pay for the interest.
However, the council could structure loan payments to avoid such a tax increase, said City Manager Andrea Gardner.
“The debt would mostly be issued sometime in the spring, and that would also help (prevent the tax increase),” she said. “Close to or after the February time frame is when there would be no immediate impact to our debt requirements.”
Gardner said it may be summer 2013 before construction begins on the project.
“What we are doing right now is, we are wrapping up the design,” she said. “It would probably be in late winter or early spring when we would present a final design to the city council.”
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474