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Buckley residents close to learning cost, seeing plans for new fire station

Years of planning for a new fire station in Buckley will soon result in something residents can lay their eyes on.

Progress on designs for the fire station are being scheduled at a pace that could have a fire station bond issue on the ballot for the April 27 special election. During the Jan. 12 meeting of the Buckley City Council, Councilwoman Cristi Boyle Barrett made a motion to have city administration prepare a resolution to place the bond measure on the ballot.

A dollar amount to be included on the ballot measure or proposed tax rate has not been finalized. Group MacKenzie, the architectural firm on the project, is scheduled to deliver cost estimates to the fire department on March 5, following finalization of the plans.

Before the measure appears on a ballot, the public will have the opportunity to view possible designs and submit suggestions. The city will appoint committees to write arguments for and against a new fire station, plus rebuttals to each position, to be published in the voters guide.

Buckley Fire Chief Alan Predmore took part in a Jan. 11 conference call with architects working on the fire station project. Group MacKenzie reported significant progress, and Predmore will soon submit changes to their plans, he told the council.

The first public viewing of the architects’ designs will take place at 6 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Buckley fire station. After reviewing suggestions, the architects will host a second public viewing at 6 p.m. Feb. 22.

A fire staff meeting will take place by March 5 in which the final design and cost estimates will be available.

“It will be a push to meet the deadline for the April 27 ballot,” Predmore said. “However, I think it will be worth it to save on the costs of the election.”

Pierce County elections typically cost jurisdictions $2 to $4 per registered voter and have climbed as high as $8 per registered voter, said Lori Augino, the elections manager in the Pierce County auditor’s office. Voting districts placing items on the ballot share in the county’s cost of staging the election.

More issues are typically placed on the April 27 ballot, which will likely make it cheaper – $10,000 to $16,000 cheaper – than the next election in May, Predmore said.

The current Buckley fire station is at 151 Cedar St. Land for a new station has been purchased on Ryan Road.

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