Voters decided Tuesday on the fate of three Selkirk fire stations, voting against the bond 557-336.
The department in Glenmont was where polls the voting took place. Attendees voted against an almost $18 million bond for both station upgrades and a new station entirely.
Fire Commissioner Charles Wickham spoke to Spectrum News early Tuesday, and explained the necessity of these upgrades. According to him, space and decontamination are among top concerns - particularly looking at the Glenmont fire station, which he says is too small to accommodate modern firetrucks and equipment.
And as for the decontamination issue, Wickham says the lack of showers in the building are a significant health risk.
“We’re going back to the buildings built in the 50s; [the] 1950s bathrooms [with] no shower facilities to change their clothes before they go home to their families,” Wickham said.
Also up for a vote tonight was the election of the fire commissioner. Commission candidate Mitchell Lake told Spectrum News he supported the upgrades, but had concerns about how much they would really cost taxpayers.
The department said, on average, the project would cost taxpayers less than $100.
In the end, Lake won over Aspiron 468-360. Ward won over Holmes 402-363.
Wickham issued a statement in response to the results.
"I congratulate Mr. Lake and Mr. Ward on their election as Fire District Commissioners. I trust they will work with the rest of the Board to develop plans to protect the volunteer firefighters of the district, and the lives and property of our taxpayers in the most fiscally prudent manner possible," Wickham said.
He continued, "We are disappointed the public rejected the bond proposal for the fire station renovations. The Board and the Building Committee will look at these results and make a decision about our next steps. We still need to address our concerns about the safety of our firefighters and our ability to attract future volunteers so we are able to protect our residents."