Apalachin, in the Town of Owego residents vote today on a referendum deciding whether or not to spend 4.5 million dollars to upgrade and build out the current firehouse facility. Voter turn-out was especially heavy today in this hotly debated issue. Those in favor of the referendum hope to see a new facility added to the current one bringing the Apalachin station into the 21st century.
The existing station, built in 1952 and last renovated in 1976 is in desperate need of more space, upgraded equipmement, bunkers and and the addtition of a proper exhaust ventilation system. Taxes will rise approximately $71 per year based on a $99000 assessment. This is the average assessment for Apalachin but many homeowners will pay far less.
Many folks believe that the volunteers deserve the newer facility since they give so much of themselves no matter the day, no matter the weather. They hope that the new facility will attract fresh blood and encourage volunteers to spend more time at the station cutting down on response time.
Those opposed feel that the 4.5 million dollars is overkill and is not necessary to continue to provide excellent service to the residents of Apalachin. They believe that the current facility is sufficient since there have never been any code violations at the station. Some felt that in the current economic climate they should be looking at consolidating services with other local stations, not spending money to upgrade.
The polls close at 9pm and the results will be broadcast on local TV stations such as WGNG Channel 12.
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