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Shelley-Firth Fire District trying again for $1.7M bond

Firefighters in the Shelley-Firth Fire District are hoping the second time will be the charm when it comes to passing a $1.7-million bond.

Voters will decide again on the issue in the November election, after fire commissioner Scott Searle said the bond failed by just eight votes in May.

Searle said the bond isn’t a want, but a need, citing cramped quarters with nowhere for volunteer firefighters to sleep when on duty, as well as a lack of indoor space. He said the quick response unit truck has to be started on a timer every 15 minutes in the winter so it doesn’t freeze.

Searle said the district has outgrown the station and, with historically low interest rates, now is the best time to take action.

“A lot of people feel like times are tough, why are we asking for this now?” said Searle. “But it’s something we’re just going to have to have, and looking at the numbers, it really doesn’t raise a person’s property tax that much. I think it’s something that is affordable right now.”

Shelley Fire Chief Mike Carter said for owners of a $100,000 home, the bond would raise taxes about $7 per year, or 58 cents a month.

If passed, the nearly $2 million would build a new station in Shelley and go toward upgrades in Firth.

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