Seekonk voters to decide tax hike to pay for refurbished fire station
BY JOSEPH S. SIEGEL FOR THE SUN CHRONICLEWednesday, April 15, 2009 2:20 AM EDT
Project, which would memoralize firefighter, to cost $750,000
SEEKONK - Plans are proceeding for refurbishing the Banna Memorial Fire Station, and the board of selectmen approved a town warrant article calling for a temporary tax increase to pay for the project.
If a debt exclusion were approved at May's town meeting, the issue then would go before the voters on a ballot.
Gary Sagar, a contractor who is working with Fire Chief Alan Jack and Police Chief Ron Charron on the project, told selectmen that the project would cost $750,000. Sagar is hoping to use federal grants to pay for the renovation of the station, named for deceased firefighter Richard C. Banna.
He told selectmen that residents who live close to the Banna station support the project.
"They really want to see this happen," Sagar said. The refurbished station will include an office for the police department and community meeting space.
Sagar, Jack, and Charron will present their plans before the planning and zoning boards later this month.
Selectmen offered enthusiastic support for the project.
"We need to get this done," Selectman Michael Brady said.
Jack told selectmen on Monday that the Banna station is now staffed by two firefighters on weekdays in an effort to provide coverage to the North End.
"We're doing what we can to keep the station up," Jack said.
Selectmen applauded Jack's efforts, noting they also were planning to provide a satellite fire station for the South End.