Claremore Daily Progress

November 10, 2013

Voters to decide NWFD $1 million bond

Salesha Wilken
Staff Writer


Northwest Fire District is asking voters to approve a plan to invest $1 million into district expansion.
Voters will decide Tuesday if a bond “not exceeding $1 million” should be issued to purchase equipment and construct three new fire stations. 
The stations will be added near Highway 20 and Colonial States, one near Foyil in the Rock Crusher area, and the third near Highway 169 and 4060 Road.
“These areas have seen an increase in housing, demanding the expansion to meet the needs of property owners,” Fire Chief David Puckett said.
The plan will not raise property taxes and the bond will not exceed a term of 40 years, according to the Puckett.
“The district has never had more than a 10-year debt,” Puckett said.
The three new fire stations will lower response times and improve insurance coverage. Expansion lowers insurance rates by adding stations to rural areas, according to Puckett. 
Each station will house two pieces of fire fighting equipment and sleeping quarters for volunteers.
A committee has been formed and once the election is complete, the members will determine the best equipment to purchase.
“We will look at apparatuses, which will provide the best protection while saving insurance and fuel expenses,” Puckett said.
The plan may be implemented in stages to keep the debt from exceeding 2 mills, according to Puckett.
It is important the district keep their promise to the voters not to increase taxes, he added.
Only voters living within the district will decide the issue. 
Voting precincts 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 17 and 18 including areas west of Highway 66, 24 excluding the city of Talala, 32 including areas north of the Caney River, 33 and 116, will be open to voters residing in the fire district.
Voters living within the city of Claremore are also excluded from the measure.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The fire district serves the town of Oologah and Talala and the surrounding area. It extends to the north of the city of Claremore along Highway 66 until reaching the Foyil Fire District.
To the west, the district extends to the Verdigris River from Highway 169 to Highway 20 near Keetonville Hill. 
NWFD is one of the largest fire districts in Oklahoma covering 214 square miles.