According to a report from The Sentinel Source, after Swanzey, New Hampshire, officials had proposed constructing an incomplete fire station to lower the cost, voters at the town’s deliberative session Wednesday night decided they didn’t want to settle for an incomplete station.
This year will be Swaney’s fourth attempt at voting for the new station to a vote since 2015. According to Swanzey Fire Department (SFD) Chief William Gould, the current central fire station is located in the basement of town hall and has fallen out of compliance with building codes. He also said SFD operations, at times, interferes with town business being conducted upstairs.
In the only change to the warrant, voters chose to amend the fire station proposal, which originally called for the town to raise $3,575,000 to fund the project, with $200,000 to be raised by taxes; $375,000 from an undesignated fund balance; and $3 million in bonds. However, the bonded amount may be raised, as was called for by Swanzey resident Joe Smith.
Last year, residents narrowly voted down a proposed 12,000-square-foot station, which also would have been built at 321 Old Homestead Highway (Route 32). Although a simple majority of voters favored the station, the measure failed to garner the required 3/5 majority. This year’s proposal would also require a supermajority to pass.
The town has two additional fire stations, both of which would remain open if the new facility is constructed.
Voting is scheduled for March 9 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Monadnock Regional Middle/High School gym.