Last night, the city council passed the highly unpopular fire station move, which places what is now the Lido fire station further South– the opposite direction of where 80% of its calls currently go. This will add additional response time onto the response time for Lido Isle residents and anyone who is North of the current location.
The reason for the move is that they want to rebuild the station, an argument that has merit– but why rebuild at a worse location? The official reason is that “it’s a bigger lot”, but moving massive fire trucks in and out of that McDonalds location will be even harder than it was to move cars in and out of it– regardless of how they redesign the land. As everyone knows, the McDonalds location is flooded with pedestrian, bicycle, and car traffic in the summertime, and while sirens are great at moving traffic out of the way in “normal” situations, if the entire area is congested, sirens can’t magically create more roadway. This is a catastrophe waiting to happen since 87% of all “fire” calls are for medical assistance.
So how much are we spending on the building? $4,000,000.00 for the building itself, plus additional money in closing costs. How much was the building bought for last year? Slightly less than $2m.
Yes, you read that right: The city council is spending over $4m of taxpayer money for a building that sold last year for under $2m. Shout-out to Mayor Kevin Muldoon for being the only one up there with common sense on this item, and voting “no” on it. Shame on the rest of the council members. This is not only fiscally irresponsible, it is guaranteed to cause the loss of life in exchange for them lining the pockets of friendly business owners– with zero benefit to taxpayers.
What else did Muldoon vote “no” on? Raising the water sewage rates.
For years, I have advocated a plan that would literally cut the cost of our water in half while providing us a sustainable, cleaner, and cheaper water source which requires zero construction– only a change in paperwork. (http://savenewport.com/2015/04/22/fixing-newports-water-supply/). This would help trim costs on our water to give a buoying point for other improvements– like our sewer system– while cutting overall costs to taxpayers and providing them with a better service ecosystem. Surely, the council took this into consideration or at least did a study on the feasibility before deciding to increase the cost of living for citizens, right?
They haven’t had so much as a single meeting on the topic, let alone bring it to a vote. Instead, they decided to just jack the rates up– everyone except for Kevin Muldoon. Thanks again, Kevin.
To say that I am disappointed in a council who pays more than twice what a building is worth in order to move a fire station in the opposite direction of where it is most needed– that’s an understatement.
Six out of seven of our councilmembers have done something here which will ensure that the small Lido and Balboa community will remember their names for decades to come. Six out of seven have proven themselves to be exactly what they were elected to be: Politicians. Hurrah for them, I guess.
Editors note: Be sure not have a heart attack or stroke on Lido. Move a few blocks off the Island to ensure a traditional response time. And write city council to thank them for paying double for a property to make this happen, at email@example.com. Every single one of them, except for Mayor Kevin Muldoon.
Thanks again, Muldoon, for standing up for what is fiscally sane, morally upstanding, and medically responsible– no sarcasm on that one.