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Newman Lake voters pass bond for fire station

The second time was the charm for Newman Lake Fire and Rescue, which passed a $1.1 million bond this week to pay for a new fire station.

A $2.2 million bond failed in 2011. This time the department cut the amount it was requesting in half and the bond passed with a 65 percent yes vote. The measure needed a 60 percent supermajority to pass.

Fire Chief Keith Yamane said he was pleased and excited by the results. “I’m just really grateful for the Citizens for Newman Lake Fire and Rescue,” he said, referring to a group that campaigned in support of the bond. “We didn’t have them around the first time. I don’t know where we would be right now if it wasn’t for them.”

People in the area didn’t dispute the need to replace the aging, too-small and unsafe Station 1 in 2011, but found the price tag a bit steep. Yamane said the district paid off its debt and amassed enough savings to pay for half the cost of the station. That was apparently enough to sway more voters to approve the smaller bond this month.

There is no exact timeline for when construction of the new station will begin on a parcel of land the district owns at the corner of Starr and Moffat roads. The plans need to be reviewed and finalized. “It’s been a while,” Yamane said.

If the district can get the permits it needs and go out to bid fast enough, construction may be able to begin in October, he said.