After the first round of ballots were counted Tuesday night, the Lebanon Fire District's 26-year, $16 million general obligation bond was up by a narrow 175 votes.
The total number of votes in favor was 2,699, with 2,524 votes against. Turnout was low, at just over 23%.
"We’re very happy with the results so far, and if they stick, we’re ecstatic," said Lebanon Fire District Chief Gordon Sletmoe. "They’ll periodically update through the night and even tomorrow. I don’t know how many more ballots there are to count. Did a bunch of people drop them off at 7 p.m. and they haven’t counted them yet?"
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If the current results hold and the bond is approved, it will replace the expiring bond approved by voters in 2006. That bond was set at 20 cents per $1,000 in assessed value. Those funds were used to build new fire stations at Cheadle Lake and on Berlin Road, as well as three new fire-fighting vehicles.
The new bond measure is expected to be set at 34 cents per $1,000 in assessed value. For a home assessed at $225,000, the annual cost would be $76.50.
The Lebanon Fire District will use the new funds to build new central firehouse and administration building on the same location as Station 31. That project is estimated to cost $13.6 million. Proceeds would also be used to acquire three new fire engines and two new brush fire vehicles, at a total estimated cost of $2 million.
If the bond is approved, the district would spend the next year finishing design work and the permitting process for the new station, with construction expected to begin in early 2021. Construction is expected to take nine to 12 months to complete.
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