Bond proposal would mean updated facilities for Boise Fire Dept.

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - A bond package proposal made by the City of Boise Thursday aims to improve public safety, parks and other natural areas.

The proposal includes major renovations and upgrades to four fire stations around the city of Boise that no longer meet the National Fire Protection Association minimum standards.

Boise firefighters often put our safety before their own on the job. However, even behind the fire lines they are at risk, dealing with these resources and facilities that are less than adequate.

"We are getting a back log in our facilities," Boise City Fire Chief Dennis Doan said. "We have multiple stations that have out-served their life. They're over 50-years-old. We also have some that need to be moved."

Fire station 5 in downtown Boise is one of the busiest in the state. It receives more calls than almost any other station in Idaho. However, the building is 62 years old, and doesn't meet safety standards.

Under this new proposal, it will be one of the four stations to get an upgrade or be completely rebuilt.

"In this station we have a seismic problem, so the station...if there was an earthquake it probably would come down," Doan said.

If the bond passes, three other stations would be upgraded as well. Fire station 4 on Ustick will be rebuilt to allow crews to house a ladder truck there.

Fire station 8 on Overland will be relocated to improve response coverage on the Central Bench and at Boise State University.

Fire station 9 on State Street will be remodeled and brought up to meet safety standards.

Furthermore, the bond would allow the Boise Fire Department to build a new training facility to meet the NFPA minimum standards, and to provide fire crews with better and more up-to-date training. Doan cites a recent 3-alarm fire on Hill Road as a perfect example.

"Just from that fire we had the other day, you can see we're a well-trained, well-equipped fire department, but we need to give back to the firefighters that protect us and one of those ways is to build a new training facility," Doan said.

The entire bond package would cost $34 million dollars. That would come down to about $13 more per person per year in property taxes, depending on the value of your home.

While the upgrades won't be cheap, fire officials say it will help them do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

"The best thing that's going to come out of it is that we're going to have better trained firefighters and we're going to be able to respond to emergencies quicker," Doan said.

Many people say they would be supportive of the bond, and wouldn't mind helping foot the bill.

I'd be more than happy to pay $13 a year," Boise resident Douglas Damon said. "I'd be happy to pay $26 a year to make them really good at what they do."

"Anything to make this a better place to live, better than it already is, would be well received by most of the people," Boise resident Bruce Smith added.

The bond will be on the ballot in November. If it's passed, your property taxes will go up by around $13 starting in 2014.

For a complete look at the city's bond package proposal, click here