Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan stands in front of an engine at Fire Station No. 5.
The Boise City Fire Safety Bond has won approval with a commanding 76 percent of Boise voters saying "yes."
The $17 million plan will fund the $6.8 million construction of a new firefighting training facility and another $10.1 million to upgrade or replace four aging fire stations.
The plan is to pay down nearly $19 million in bonds—the $17 million plus interest and fees—over 10 years with no tax increase.
The department's current training facility, off of Americana Boulevard, is pretty close to being worthless, according to city officials. The concrete tower doesn't meet national firefighting standards, and the surrounding building has a stairwell that is nowhere close to being similar to a real house. So, in the meantime, the department has been forced to rely on citizens and businesses to donate old homes or buildings slated for demolition to be used as controlled fire situations.
Boise will also remodel Fire Station No. 4 on Ustick Road to accommodate the relocation of a ladder truck; build a new Station No. 5 on South 16th Street (the oldest and busiest station in Boise); relocate Station No. 8 on Overland Road to improve response times to the Central Bench and Boise State; and renovate Station No. 9 on State Street and Sycamore Drive, primarily because of gender equity issues (it only has one bedroom, shower and bathroom).
As the citywide vote passed a super majority on its way to garnering more than 76 percent of the vote, Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan tweeted out in the early morning hours: "I'm calling it. Boise Fire Bond passes!"