We would like to take this opportunity to inform Nikiski Fire Service Area residents about our first public hearing on the proposed Fire Station No. 3 in the Douglas Lake, Holt-Lamplight area, held on April 14 at Nikiski Fire Station No. 1. We had a representative from the insurance industry who gave us some valuable information about homeowners' insurance costs.
Based on figures from one insurance standard, a homeowner living within five miles driving distance of a fire department, in many instances, can save half of the cost of a homeowner who lives beyond five miles of a fire station.
We also had the project manager there who showed us how the plans for the station were developed, the design features and the cost of the project. The cost of the station is estimated to be about $1.6 million to $1.7 million, which includes the money already spent on the purchase of land and plan design.
We also had the borough finance controller there who gave us the projected financial outlook for the Nikiski Fire Service Area, and what impact building and operating another fire station would have on our area. In order for us to build and operate this new station we would have to increase our current mill rate of 2.3 to possibly 2.45 based on current revenue projections. This would be financed through a bond issue with a 20-year payment schedule. To put this in perspective .15 mills equals a $15 per year increase per $100,000 on personal property.
What would building this station accomplish? Most importantly it would reduce response times to emergencies in the area that will be covered by this station. It also would reduce insurance costs to home-owners who still have companies that will write policies in this area and also make insurance available to those homeowners who cannot get insurance because they live beyond that five miles from a fire station.
There is a lot more information available, such as why this area was chosen, how many homes are affected, projected growth for the area, and much more.
Please plan on attending the next public hearing on the proposed Fire Station No. 3. We value your input and welcome your questions or suggestions. We want everyone to have as much information as possible so they can make an informed decision, on such an important matter.
The next public hearing will be at 7:30 p.m. May 12 at Nikiski Fire Station No. 1, Mile 17.9 Kenai Spur Highway.
Mark Cialek, board chair, Daniel L. Gregory, fire chief, Nikiski Fire Service Area
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