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It’s how groups define ‘firehouse’

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“Vote yes on K — save the fire station.” Next sign: “Vote no on K – save the fire station.” Confusing? The difference between the two is the ideology. Supporters of Measure K propose replacing the current building with a new station in the same location costing about $150 per square-foot, meeting all code requirements. This figure was given by the civil engineer and two building contractors that were asked by the current board to evaluate the existing building. This cost reflects the fact that a building pad and all utilities are already in place. The “Yes on K” group feels there is enough money to pay cash for a new firehouse, maintain the recent pay and benefit increases and have enough left over to pay for a new fire engine. The supporters of Measure B, the “No on K” group, have the ideology that an 8,000 square-foot firehouse is what’s needed. It should be a civic activities center that would also accommodate a fire station. When Measure B passed a calculation was made to how much debt could be serviced, It was determined to be $2 million. At the last Newcastle Fire Board meeting an analysis was presented on a piece of property given free to build a fire station. The site factors determined the cost to build there would be $3.9 million. Richard Molzahn, Newcastle