Taxpayer won't see increase with Asotin Co. Fire Dist. No.1 new firehouse

CLARKSTON, WA - Asotin County Fire District 1 now owns property on Appleside Boulevard for a new fire station.

Carol Zinke reports on what this means for your tax dollars.

The new property is the Life Center Church, which is located down the street from their current location on Appleside Boulevard.

Their current station has been remodeled several times in the last 64-years and Fire Chief Noel Hardin said they've outgrown so much that they have to store emergency equipment at other facilities or outside. He said they also need training space, and separate sleeping and shower areas for male and female firefighters. He said all these issue and much more will be resolved with the new fire station.

"The community has grown a lot over the past few years, so our needs for space and equipment have grown with the community," said Hardin. "We need a facility that's going to help us today and 40-to-50 years from now."

They've been working on this project for over a year now. When a feasibility study was done several months ago they discovered that buying this property will cost five-million dollars less than developing a brand new building. Hardin said that's great news for taxpayers! He said they purchased the property for more than one-million dollars and the district can afford the payment with their current budget. That means there won't be any raising of taxes right now.

"As we look down the road we're going to be applying for state and federal grants that will help with the upgrade," said Hardin. "We believe that we're eligible for different federal grants and state funding."

Hardin says if they don't get enough money within the next several years, they might need to ask tax payers for help, but he says their first goal is to do everything without that.
He says purchasing the property was phase one of three. Now, they're starting phase two. Which includes looking at renovation options and building an extra area for emergency equipment.

Fire district leaders are also considering leasing the space in the new station to other public entities.
It would help reduce operating costs and pay off any loans they may have.