Public vents concerns on proposed new station

Friday, July 7, 2006

Walnut Creek Fire Protection District board may have heard the same issues from Van Bibber Lake Volunteer Fire Department, but the biggest concern was the construction of the new fire station at Thursday night's meeting.

The board, consisting of Jim Hilburn, Jay C. Unger, Robert Hensley and Kathy Deere, had created the Walnut Creek Fire Protection Building Corporation. The building corp. would construct the station and the district would later rent the station on a 12 year lease for $41,000.

The members of the building corp. are Charlie Boller, Jeff Trent and Jerry Thacker.

Since this is the first time the district convened to discuss the lease, they asked the public for their comments.

Bill Neal, Van Bibber Fire's president, told the board he does not see how they could pay off the building and still pay bills, insurance and purchase equipment for 12 years.

"A building is going to take money," Deere said.

According to Neal, both communities will be in debt in 12 years.

Neal also told the board that during a recent fundraiser, the department had received 50 signatures out of 800 Clinton Township residents who did not want to pay for a new building.

When the board asked where those 50 people were since the meeting was a public hearing for the lease, Rita Lang, Van Bibber resident, stated that attempts had been made in the past and those residents felt their opinions were not being heard.

The board approved to have Rick Battershell of Curry and Associates, Danville, to make a final drawing of the station for the board to go over.

They also approved using David Lane and Helmer Appraisals to appraise the property chosen for the station.

In other business, the board:

-- Expanded legal service and expenses on the budget to include consulting.

-- Approved a resolution and authorization of bonds for the lease.

-- Set meetings to approve the budget on Sept. 7 and executing the lease on Sept. 28.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Bainbridge Fire Station. The meeting will be a hearing on the proposed budget and will be open to the public.

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