Okanogan Fire District 6 is hoping to get public comment and opinion Monday June 9th, regarding a second try to build a new fire station. The proposal involves a 20 year levy lid lift to provide firefights with a safer facility. Fire Chief Don Waller explains that the need for a new station, really comes down to needing more room.
To put it in perspective, to put on their large, heavy gear, firefighters have 12 inches of space between them and a 50,000 pound fire engine. Because of the lack of visibility, engine drivers are at risk for possibly hitting fireman when going to and from emergencies. The lack of space is not only a safety issue for the firemen themselves, but also to the public. With less space, comes less recruits. With a necessary minimum of 25 volunteers, the Winthrop station just had to decline 10 volunteers because of lack of space. 90 percent of Winthrop's emergency responders are volunteer, and having volunteers saves taxpayers $2 million annually. The original proposal, that was rejected by voters 8 years ago, was for an estimated $5 million, but the new lid lift being proposed is half that. It would cost the average tax payer almost $34 a year, or $2.83 a month.
The meeting will take place Monday June 9th at 7PM at the Winthrop Fire Station, 223 Englar Street. "CLICK HERE" for Audio