In some places there isn't the required three-foot clearance for a walking path.
The tight spaces in the area where engines, equipment and gear is kept is one of the reasons why the
"We have very close quarters and it's not very safe for our firefighters," Freeburg Fire Capt.
"A typical station has gear racks behind the trucks, where guys don't have that problem of guys getting hit as trucks are pulling out, but there's nowhere to stick them," Mueller said.
The Freeburg Fire bond referendum is one of three bond referendums on the April ballot in St. Clair County.
Votes on the bond referendums were put on the ballot independent of the 1 percent public safety sales tax referendum in St. Clair County.
Mueller said the district wants to replace its current station, which was built in 1956. The buildings has had two additions, one in 1970 and one in 1990.
Because there is barely enough clearance for the department's engines, trucks are more expensive because they have to be custom built in order to fit for the fire district.
"It's not a safe situation for the guys," Mueller added. "Asides (sic) that, for the citizens of the community it slows us down. So it keeps us from doing our job properly. It's not good for our training environment."
The 1950s building also has lightweight wood, and no sprinkler system. A new building would be a metal framed building that could withstand winds higher than 100 mph.
"The power lines to the front of the building are a huge concern. If those come down, we're out of service," Mueller said.
The station doesn't have hoses attached to exhaust pipes of trucks to pump the fumes away. There isn't enough ceiling system to run an exhaust system. There is one exhaust fan, but it's not automatic.
"It's dangerous for the guys, Mueller said. "You have those fumes that build up in here. (It's) cancer causing and it absorbs into the gear."
The district has not had any issues for any of their firefighters, "but it is a concern," Mueller said.
The district plans to sell its current station, which would pay for cost over-runs during construction and an emergency generator. There are interested buyers for two interested parties for the building, but Mueller wouldn't not disclose who they were.
Freeburg did try to get a similar bond referendum approved by voters about a year ago during the
The district then reduced its request.
"The citizens in the community here wanted us to cut, so we did; (we) cut as much as we could, and still have a reliable engine house for the community and still look presentable," Mueller said.
A new fire engine with a 75-foot long ladder would cost
The district also plans to refurbish a 31-year-old rescue truck for a cost of
The owner of a
"That is small amount to pay for the superior level of fire protection you receive from us," Borkowski said.
The rescue truck is what carries equipment such as extrication tools and radios, and can serve as a command center during a fire.
"The intent is to purchase a new chassis and put the body, which is in excellent condition, which is going to be a significant savings to the taxpayers also," Borkowski said.
The 1,500 square foot expansion of station one, at
Borkowski said the district needs an additional bay to acquire the large equipment used in firefighting today.
Also the bathrooms of the station would be updated to be handicap accessible.
The district would make other improvements to its first engine house including energy efficiency upgrades, and making
The district has 9,000 people in its eight square miles.
The district gets about 260 calls a year, and 15 percent of them are fire calls, Borkowski said. The rest are automobile crashes, responding to activated alarms or assisting other departments.
Fire district board president
"The bond is at a fixed interest rate over a long period of time, and it's the best you can do for the customer," Nation said. "The best buy for our constituents is a bond issue."
Voters in the
"Unless we keep up the equipment we have, the ability to fight fires in our neighborhood is reduced. We have to maintain our equipment, we have to maintain our structures, protect the equipment and to protect our homes," Nation said.
New trucks in Cahokia
In Cahokia, the district wants to replace a 30-year-old fire truck with a 55-foot ladder truck, said Fire Chief
"The 30-year-old truck is costing us more money to keep it on the road because we're having trouble finding parts," Robbins said.
The owner of a
A new ladder truck would cost about
Robbins said the truck is the district's main truck. A recent brake repair cost
Cahokia also wants to replace its 15-year-old brush truck, which is usually used for putting out brush fires, Robbins said.
A new brush truck would cost about
"The current levy we have, the money we're bringing in, on top of the insurance we have pay, upkeep, maintenance and fuel, it's not feasible to get a loan for
Robbins said the bond would be for 20 years, and the trucks should last about 20 years.
"Hopefully by then, things will change and our budget will increase," Robbins said.
The Cahokia fire district has 25 firefighters to cover the 9.4 square miles, which has 15,000 people.
Presently residents pay
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