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Regional News

N. Idaho Fire District Asks For Money For New Station, Ladder Truck

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Courtesy of Kootenai County Fire District
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Idaho voters go to the polls on Tuesday to decide a variety of local measures, from school levies to choosing candidates to sit on the boards of local taxing districts.

In Bonner County, officials are asking voters for about $8.7 million over 10 years to pay for improvements to the county’s solid waste system.

In Kootenai County, the fire district that covers much of the county has its own bond measure. Kootenai County Fire Chief Christopher Way says his firefighters can no longer always meet their goal of getting a truck to the scene within four minutes and 59 seconds.

Way says a growing population is demanding more service. He expects the district’s call volume to hit a new record this year.

So the agency proposes to build a new fire station in southeast Post Falls. It also proposes to move two existing stations and personnel to more centralized locations, one in the northwestern part of the county, one in Dalton Gardens.

“Those will be new structures and then when we’re done moving those new structures, we’ll be selling the old structures and that money will be used to fund future fire stations as well," he said.

To pay for the new facilities, the district is asking voters for nearly $15 million over the next 10 years. It also wants to buy a new ladder truck that can reach higher into the sky.

“We know that there are some large buildings planned right now, some multi-story buildings, five- and six-story buildings are being planned and so our 75-foot ladder is no longer going to be able to meet the demand of our growing community," Way said.

The bond measure needs two-thirds support of voters to be approved. Way says he’s optimistic about its chances. He says the leadership of both major political parties have endorsed the proposal.