Voters in the Somers Rural Fire District have approved a bond issue of up to $4 million to build a new fire hall at 784 Somers Road.
In a mail-ballot election that had a 35 percent voter turnout, 821 people voted in favor of the bond, while 445 were against it.
The 20-year bond will pay the costs of designing, constructing, equipping and furnishing a new fire hall that will include a truck bay, storage area, community room and office area, with an upper level for a training room and living quarters to be finished if sufficient bond proceeds are available, or roughed-in for finishing when funds become available.
Site development, including soil mitigation, utilities, driveway and parking areas, and landscaping also will be covered by the bond.
Somers Fire Chief Tom Havens recently told the Daily Inter Lake $4 million is the maximum amount of the bond, but “if the building came in at $3 million,” then the cost to taxpayers would be much less.
The fire district is anticipating unstable soil issues similar to what the Somers School District faced as it embarked on a project to improve Somers Middle School, Havens said. In that case the school site was moved to a different location after a soil study indicated the wet, loose, sandy soil could leave the building vulnerable to damage in the event of an earthquake.
Running new sewer and water lines to hook into the Somers Sewer District is also part of the project expense, Havens noted.
The cost is about $48 a year for a home valued at $200,000.
The fire district purchased the 5-acre site on Somers Road about four years ago, anticipating future construction of a hall to replace the aging facility on Lesley Avenue in downtown Somers.
The Somers-Lakeside Fire Department is a volunteer force that serves the communities of Somers, Lakeside and Lower Valley areas.