Mayor Don Wesely and Lincoln Fire Chief Mike Spadt today said a proposed $8 million bond for the Fire Department will help the community maintain and improve fire protection as the City grows. The Mayor is requesting City Council approval to present the bond issue to fund equipment, repairs and the construction of two new fire stations to voters in the next fiscal year.
"As the community has grown in population and in area, the City has historically added fire stations in new areas," said Mayor Wesely. "The Fire Department has identified the need for new fire stations in the northern and southern parts of our city since the mid-1980s, and it is now time to move forward and add stations in these areas. The bond issue will also cover improvements and equipment in all parts of the City to meet our fire protection needs across our community."
The Fire Department currently has 14 stations located strategically throughout the community. The two new stations have been identified in the Capital Improvement Program since 1983. Chief Spadt said the Fire Department monitors its performance using response times, fire fatalities, fire damage and citizen feedback.
"Our goal is to minimize the loss of lives and property," said Chief Spadt. "The longer a fire burns, the more damage it will cause, so greater travel distances from a fire station to a citizen in need means that a person whose home is on fire will suffer a greater loss. Time is also critical when a citizen needs medical assistance. During a heart attack, for instance, a person can suffer irreversible brain damage after just four to six minutes."
The two new fire stations with apparatus and equipment would cost about $3.3 million. The Fire Department is exploring sites in north and south Lincoln. The bond issue would also fund:
The Fire Department's proposed general fund budget for fiscal year 2002-2003 is $16.4 million. That equates to a cost of 20 cents per day for each City resident. When fully operational, the new stations and positions would add about $3 million to the Fire Department's budget.