Fire Station Discussion Continues, in Beatrice

Fire Station Discussion Continues, in Beatrice
Beatrice Fire and Rescue, housed in Municipal Auditorium

BEATRICE – A consultant working with the City of Beatrice has produced a concept of a layout for a possible new fire station.  Mayor Stan Wirth says a presentation  made last Friday included some preliminary cost estimates.

:20                  “five million dollars”

Initially, expectations were that the cost might exceed $6 million.  Wirth cautions that the figures are preliminary and there’s been no discussion about the materials that would go into building a new fire station that would last 40-to-50 years.

Currently, Beatrice Fire and Rescue is housed in the lower level of the Beatrice Municipal auditorium, with cramped space to house today’s larger fire and rescue vehicles.

:18                  “with this project”

City officials have discussed whether to seek public approval for a half-cent increase in the local sales tax.   That could produce revenue to pay off a bond issue for a new fire station, without having to tap property tax revenue.   A half-cent increase in the city’s 1.5 cent local sales tax has been estimated to generate about $660,000 annually.

Wirth says that amount would be sufficient to handle a bond issue over a ten-year period.  The sales tax increase would also be designed to sunset.

:05                  “rolled back”

Wirth says the next step is to obtain more information, discuss the issue with the city council to determine support, and possibly put the tax question on the November election ballot.  A location for a new fire station would also have to be determined.

:31                  “of the buildings”

Rear of Dempster property, looking south

The Dempster location, along South 6th Street, would provide ample space for entry and exit of fire vehicles, and is along a U.S. Highway with good traffic vision in both directions.

:20                  “big footprint”

Fire vehicles would be able to enter or exit through bay doors in two directions.  The current headquarters along the one-way Ella Street requires fire and rescue personnel to continually back in, and stack vehicles in limited space.

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