Fire Stations/EMS Infrastructure Needs
Mount Vernon City Council is preparing to take action on a decision to place a Fire Facilities Bond on an upcoming special election ballot.
City residents will decide whether or not to address the critical safety and logistical concerns of all three city fire stations. The long neglected needs have been in the City’s Capital Improvements Plan for nearly two decades, but a lack of funding through the recession has, in part, caused city policy makers to defer the necessary work of improving conditions for firefighters and paramedics by replacing, constructing, and equipping all three city fire stations.
Fire Station #1: This downtown station was constructed over 55 years ago, and has long passed its useful/normal service life. Aside from being functionally obsolete, the station does not meet modern standards for energy, efficiency and fire safety. The older bays and doors are too small to fit modern trucks into, and because it lacks an exhaust system, firefighters who are stationed here have no protection from diesel exhaust that seeps through unsealed doors and into their living quarters. This station has served the city well, and the city has excelled at prolonging the resource for as long as it could, however Mount Vernon is overdue for a replacement of Fire Station 1.
Fire Stations #2 & #3: Both of these 20+ year-old stations are usable, but in desperate need of being updated to comply with modern safety standards such as decontamination and storage of the bunker gear used by our firefighters. They are also in need of a modern exhaust-capturing system that can prevent our firefighters from breathing-in toxic fumes. In addition to these pressing safety and health concerns, the City has added emergency medical services (ambulances and paramedics), which will be housed in all fire stations and increase the demand for space.
The City of Mount Vernon maintains an impeccable track record for managing bonds. Taxpayers are thrilled to have recently paid-off the 1997 public safety bond; this proposed vital upgrade to all 3 fire stations will translate into a $15.84 monthly contribution for the city's median home owners with an assessed value of $279,450.
Our great city is growing, and as we move out of a recession that has required the city to defer these pressing needs, we finally have an opportunity to provide safe and acceptable facilities that will serve Mount Vernon residents well into our future.
City is Seeking ‘For’ and ‘Against’ Committee Members to Produce Statements in Voters’ Pamphlet in Anticipation of Possible Upcoming Fire Bond
Mount Vernon residents who would like to help draft a statement either in favor of the Fire Bond, or against it, are encouraged to submit their name to city staff by December 12th to be considered for one of two committees. Both committees will meet separately to compose an Explanatory Statement (300 words), as well as an Argument statement (250 words); and eventually a rebuttal (75 words) to the opposing committee’s argument.
If voted forward by Council, all of this work will be done between December 14th and January 4th, and will appear in the Special Election Voters’ Pamphlet to assist voters in making an informed decision about the Fire Facilities Bond.
Interested applicants can submit their names for consideration to: Peter Donovan, City of Mount Vernon Project Development Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org