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Buckley voters approve fire station

The voting citizens of Buckley have seemingly come out in favor of funding a new fire station. Early results from the April 27 all-mail ballot showed nearly 77 percent approval for Proposition 1.

The results are not final and ballots could continue to be counted through May 11. Once the election is certified by the Pierce County Auditor on May 12, work will begin to move the project forward.

“While the bond measure may be approved, proceeds from those bonds won’t be seen until December,” Fire Chief Alan Predmore said. “Whether we have the means to continue forward with the final design depends on things like obtaining permits, getting a civil engineer for the site. We don’t know yet for certain if we have resources to move forward with the project.”

The proposition grants the city of Buckley the authority to issue a bond up to $5 million, loaned by a bond underwriter and paid back through property tax levies. A chart prepared by the fire department and presented to the Public Safety Committee in March estimated levy rates for bonds between $3 million and $5 million paid over 20 to 30 years.

The new fire station has a floor plan and an aesthetic design, but the city will need architectural drafts and work by civil engineers to determine the extent of work that will need to be done and a more accurate idea of the cost, Predmore said.

Ideally the city will be able to issue a scope of work on the final design in late May or early June, he said. From there, the city would be able to advertise bids for construction in mid-October and examine bids from construction firms the month following.

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