By News-Register staff • 

Lafayette residents reject bond issue

LAFAYETTE - Voters rejected a $7.95 million bond issue Tuesday. It was designed to fund replacement of the city’s combined fire station and city hall.

The unofficial count was 511 no votes, or 58.9 percent, to 356 yes, or 41.1 percent.

The city said the existing concrete-block building “would not withstand a moderate earthquake,” lacks fire sprinklers, fails to meet code for vehicle exhaust and contaminant isolation and lacks space for the additional trucks and manpower the city will need as it grows.

The replacement would have occupied the same site, but would have been larger, safer and more code-compliant. It would have featured space for operation of an emergency command center in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster, and much greater assurance of surviving such an event intact.

The structure would have included three bays capable of housing modern fire trucks, which are often larger. It would have also included a diesel exhaust evacuation system, a hazardous materials decontamination system, dedicated storage space for equipment, gear and public records and a public meeting room, along with staff offices, kitchen facilities and firefighter living quarters.

It was expected to cost property owners about $1.59 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or $159 a year on a home carried on the tax rolls at $100,000, but typically worth $150,000 or more on the open market.

The measure enjoyed support from the Lafayette Volunteer Firefighters Association, along with an array of past and present city officials. No arguments were filed in opposition in the voter’s pamphlet.

City Administrator Preston Polasek said he had heard people question why the city was pushing ahead with plans for a new fire station and city hall facility – in an effort to identify a need identified more than 10 years ago — when it is also is facing critical water needs.

Polasek said the city is planning to augment its water supply and add redundancy to its system by tying into the McMinnville Water & Light system. He said the utility has agreed to serve Lafayette on a contract basis.

Comments

Joel2828

I'm no fan of giving the government more money... But come on voters, look at the old, worn out building falling down. It's gotta be replaced some time.

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