Madrid Fire District asking voters to approve tax increase to fund fire station addition
Monday, January 9, 2017 - 11:55 am

This rendering shows the Madrid Fire Department building extension in the foreground and the older section at left.

MADRID -- The Madrid Fire District will hold a referendum Jan. 31 to consider a 52-cent tax increase to assist with a major addition to the station.

The building committee and the Board of Fire Commissioners have been working for the past year on preliminary plans and funding for this project.

“The building addition is long overdue,” said Board of Fire Commissioners Chairperson James A. McCall, who is also chairing the building committee.

Funding for the project is being obtained through the local USDA office in Canton. The total project cost is estimated to be $850,000. The Board of Fire Commissioners has earmarked $100,000 toward the project from their existing repair reserve fund, so that the maximum amount to be borrowed will not exceed $750,000, which will be paid off over a 25-year period.

It is anticipated that a grant will also be forthcoming from USDA to further reduce the cost. This grant will be in the range of $40,000 - $70,000 from the best information available at the present time.

If the grant is $40,000, the projected fire tax increase for the building project will be $0.52 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. For a property assessed at $100,000, this would amount to an additional $52 per year. If more grant money becomes available, the tax increase will decrease accordingly.

A public referendum will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Madrid Fire Station for all registered voters in the Madrid Fire District to vote on the proposed building project. Any questions regarding the project can be directed to the building committee or the Board of Fire Commissioners.

“We are asking the residents to support our volunteer firefighters and approve the building project so we can move forward with construction in the spring of 2017,” McCall said. “We currently are housing six fire vehicles in a building with very limited space. We cannot access both sides of our equipment truck in the rear bay unless we open the overhead door. And during winter months, when we call neighboring departments to stand by at our station, most of their vehicles have to sit outside, because they won't fit inside.”

Height restrictions in the existing building have also contributed to extra cost in having to special-order vehicles that are able to fit in the existing building, McCall said.

Tisdel Associates, Canton has been retained for design purposes and to oversee construction. Aaron Jarvis, PE, project engineer, is being assisted by design engineer Michael Christy, PE to develop the final plans and specifications and advertise for bids. The planned addition will consist of a new apparatus bay to house four fire vehicles, along with a single-story connector between the existing fire station and the new apparatus bay. The connector will include handicapped access, a unisex bathroom, an office and radio room, a storage room and a mechanical room. The existing building will continue to be used to house three smaller fire vehicles, as well as for additional storage and for meetings of the Madrid Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.