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  • new station justification

    We are starting to push for a new fire station. We need to justify to the public. Need to get help with this.

  • #2
    Few questions,

    why do you need a new station?

    how much do you plan to spend?

    will it increase taxes significantly?

    what was the last large purchase made by your orginization?

    what kind of time line are you looking at?
    "Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself."

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    • #3
      More questions...

      Is it a replacement or an additional station?

      Do you need more room?

      Is you old station; to small, unsafe, bad location, etc...?

      What will the benefit to the public be from a new station?

      What with the benefit to the FD be from a new station?


      You can also contact the Learning Resource Center at the National Fire Academy. They should have some research papers on fire station justification.

      http://www.lrc.fema.gov
      Last edited by mtnfireguy; 10-24-2006, 12:07 PM.
      Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
      "Everybody Goes Home"

      IACOJ 2003

      Comment


      • #4
        Do you really need it if you have to go on a message board in search of justification? Not trying to be an ***, but when a taxpayer questions "why?" if you can't rattle off a list of VALID reasons, than you don't really need the new firehouse.

        -Nick

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        • #5
          Be prepared to discuss...

          ...not only the shortcomings of your present station, but why they cannot be remedied with a renovation, rather than new construction. If you believe there are safety issues, but ready to document those with an engineering survey conducted by a licensed engineer, not just with an estimate from a builder.

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          • #6
            We have the reasons to build a new station, but that doesn't mean the plublic and all board members may understand our needs. You have to walk side ways to get between the trucks that is how tight it is. We share the building, bathroom, and meeting room with the village and library.There is no room on the lot to add on.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nick SBFD 6
              Do you really need it if you have to go on a message board in search of justification? Not trying to be an ***, but when a taxpayer questions "why?" if you can't rattle off a list of VALID reasons, than you don't really need the new firehouse.

              -Nick

              One of the biggest problems we have in the fire service is sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees. We know why we want/need a new (fill in the blank) fire station, pumper, TIC, etc. BUT we don't ask the same questions as a taxpayer might, or a politician.

              Never hurts to get another point of view.

              We have been going thru this for the last three years trying to move forward on a new headquarters and maintenance facility ($13 million project) and are finally moving forward. We answered A LOT of questions and justified many issues that were perfectly clear to us.

              Sklump... Answer the questions that have been posted so far, and look at the "what if" question.

              Someone may ask you "What if the new facility is not approved?" How will this impact the department?

              Also explore grants to assist with the cost of the building, that makes it easier to swallow as well. And it doesnt matter if you building will cost $500,000 or $13 million.
              Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
              "Everybody Goes Home"

              IACOJ 2003

              Comment


              • #8
                Numbers, numbers, numbers. You're going to have to justify to the voters why you need it. i.e., prolonged response times, ISO requires a station at this location, we're having a lot of calls in this area and need a closer station, etc. Voters want to know how much it's going to cost them and why you think you need it.

                One thing I'd recommend is get up in the morning and join the coffee shop crowd. Ask them what they think, they'll be a pretty good measure of the community (assuming you're small town).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sklump
                  We have the reasons to build a new station, but that doesn't mean the plublic and all board members may understand our needs. You have to walk side ways to get between the trucks that is how tight it is. We share the building, bathroom, and meeting room with the village and library.There is no room on the lot to add on.
                  I do that every third work day. Are sharing those facilities really a problem. Like I try to teach my kids is it a want or a need?

                  To get any funding you have to make them understand your needs.

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                  • #10
                    One other thing you might look into is finding some sources to help the costs of building a new facility. Rural development grant/loans, CDBG, etc. Taxpayers like it when they're not flipping the entire bill. You may even find out you don't need a tax hike to get it done. There's a ton of ways to cut expenses out there, it's just finding them.

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                    • #11
                      USDA Grant info

                      http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/cf/brief_cp_grant.htm

                      http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/cf/cp.htm
                      Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
                      "Everybody Goes Home"

                      IACOJ 2003

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Explain at public meetings how a new station will reduce their insurance rates,lower the tax burden by reduced building maintenance(if the building job is done right the first time!)and reduce response times to areas farther away from the older or replaced station.
                        My old vollie department kept getting asked "Whyfor is it taking so long to build?"and "Why is the station so big?You only have four trucks in it all the time."because the contractor was dragging his feet and cutting corners.The Chief started getting TV time whenever we were about to have a Trustees meeting to discuss construction progress and he'd invite the public,whether they lived in district or not,to come visit.
                        People got the answers they'd wanted and we got a new station.There were bugs needing fixing when I left the department and the contractor didn't like the taste of the costs as the BOT made him eat them.People are noticing the reduced insurance and other bennies like how the Brownies,Rotary and other groups can rent a nice meeting area for less than it would elsewhere in town and they can see why we need a bigger station when the new trucks start coming in years down the line.
                        Stick with how a new station will benefit the area and people will come around.
                        Last edited by doughesson; 10-27-2006, 11:49 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Several years ago we contacted a third party consultant to prepare an unbiased needs assesment for our districts. Our consultant was from Univ. of TN. I would imagine many universities have similar departments or people that could do an assesment for your department.

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                          • #14
                            plans for new station

                            we are in the next phase looking for plans for station to house 6 trucks and an ambulance for volunteers. Also what has worked and what would you do different?

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                            • #15
                              Not trying to be a jerk or anything, but how bout you acknowledge the bits of wisdom that these guys are trying to give you? Before you roll on to the next question?
                              Giggity - Giggity!

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