BEATRICE – Beatrice Mayor Stan Wirth says he’s a little disappointed that turnout at several open house sessions on next Tuesday’s fire station ballot question, was generally light.
Voters will decide next Tuesday, a proposed half-cent increase in the local sales tax to provide money for a bond issue, that would back the construction of a new Beatrice Fire and Rescue headquarters. It would bring the total local sales tax to two cents.
Wirth says the issue is simply one of need.
:32 “actual need”
The Beatrice Fire Department has been housed in the lower level of the Municipal Auditorium since 1965. It added rescue service previously provided by the county, in later years. Beatrice Fire and Rescue answered about 2,800 calls the past year, averaging about eight, per day.
:26 “and day out”
Ventilation and sleeping quarters in a new fire station would be upgraded. The project is estimated to cost about $8 million to $9 million.
:10 “possibly can”
Wirth made clear on KWBE Thursday that the fire station will NOT be located either on the Dempster Manufacturing property or the former Store Kraft Manufacturing property.
:26 “four lane highway”
What happens if voters say no, to the ballot question? Wirth says citizens will still get the same attention and service the city has already provided and will continue to do its best. He says “we’re just not going to be as efficient as we’d like to be”.