Growing pains

Fairview residents to vote on bond funding new fire station and municipal complex

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Growing pains

Fairview voters will decide on a new bond proposal to fund a new fire station in addition to other amenities.

Fairview voters will decide on a new bond proposal to fund a new fire station in addition to other amenities.

Katie Felton

Fairview voters will decide on a new bond proposal to fund a new fire station in addition to other amenities.

Katie Felton

Katie Felton

Fairview voters will decide on a new bond proposal to fund a new fire station in addition to other amenities.

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Fairview residents will vote on Nov. 7 to decide a bond election aimed at funding a new municipal complex that will replace Fire Station 1 and build a fire administration building, community training and meeting space, and public works offices.

Election day voting will last from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m at the Fairview Town Hall. Early voting was held around the area from Oct. 23-30. The bond has a maximum cost set at $25.5 million, which would increase residents’ taxes by a maximum of 7.5 cents per $100.

According to Mayor Darion Culbertson, Fire Station 1 currently has structural and safety issues.

“Right now the fire department is in a house that was built in 1960; it’s not even a legitimate fire station, and they’ve added onto the buildings and things like that,” Town Council member Renee Powell said. “[The complex] would add better facilities for [the residents]; it would add better future facilities for the fire department and fire fighters.”

The fire station also lacks space for an ambulance and emergency medical technician (EMT) group.

“Right now there is not room for them there, and right now we’re OK, but in the next few years we are going to have more people on the west side of town, and if the ambulance is busy that is on the east side of town, then there is going to be a longer response time for the ambulance services because they will come from Allen and McKinney,” Powell said.

Fire Station 2 was constructed in 2010 and serves eastern Fairview. When the Town Council collected a bond to build the site, they knew that a replacement for Fire Station 1 would be a necessity in the near future.

Although city taxes would increase if the bond passes, they would still be less than those of surrounding areas. Since the council started considering the costs of the bond two years ago, the price of the project has already increased by 19 percent due to interest rates.

“This is something that is going to have to be done eventually,” Powell said. “It is not going to be any cheaper to do this on down the road; it is going to be more expensive. So, if we can do it now and get the facilities that are needed to help the town grow, then now is better than later.”

To speech and debate coach and Fairview resident Tami Parker, the bond is “just part of doing business.”

“It is a lot of money– there’s no way around it,” Parker said. “I understand why people balk at it, I really do. I just kind of think it is part of the city continuing to grow. Listen, I’ll have to pay taxes just like everybody else, but in the end you need the fire department to have what it needs to have.”

Council members are encouraging students who are of age to go out and vote to get their feet wet in the electoral process.

“This would be a good experience as far as going through the voting process because there is not going to be a lot of lines this time,” Powell said. “This will be the main issue; there may be a few things on the state agenda, but there is nobody running for office in Fairview or in the state. So, it would be a good experience just to go and see how the voting system works and things like that.”

Senior Grant Durow said he believes “students, and everyone in fact, should vote as much as possible.”

“While it is very important to be informed on the issues you’ll be voting on and to formulate an educated opinion, you need to vote as much as possible so that our government and the choices it makes can truly represent the views and interests of all citizens,” Durow said. “This includes relatively ‘minor’ elections like local bond elections because we have the most impact upon local laws with our votes given the relatively smaller pool of voters. The key is to be informed and vote as much as possible no matter who you are because countless people fought for their right to vote.”