Voters in the Lakeside Fire District tonight said 'no' to a proposal for a new multi-million dollar firehouse by an overwhelming margin of 437 to 146.
The department, which serves Geddes, Camillus and part of Van Buren, had hoped to build a larger facility on the site where their current firehouse stands at 1002 State Fair Blvd.
Built in 1949 with additions added on in 1955 and in 1987, firefighters say their current building is hopelessly outdated and not up to code and its infrastructure is crumbling.
"The sprinkler system is inoperable," said Steve Erwin, one of the district's fire commissioners. "The heating system, when we had it fixed last year, we were told that we needed to do something before next winter."
Beyond the myriad of infrastructure issues, Erwin says their firehouse, now 65 years old, wasn't built for today's bigger and heavier fire trucks.
"The concrete is crumbling under the weight of the trucks," said Erwin. "We can no longer park the heavier trucks in the older part of the building."
According to Erwin, estimates to make necessary repairs and add a new addition totaled about two-thirds of what a completely new building would cost.
The fire department asked for voters to approve a plan to build a new facility that would not exceed $6.2 million. The proposal called for a tax increase of $1.20 per $1,000 of assessed property value, or $120 for a home assessed at $100,000. Now that voters have struck down the plan, the fire department says it's not sure what approach it will take next.