Fire station decision delayed
HEBRON – The decision whether to issue $1.35 million in bonds for an addition and renovation of the Hebron Fire Station will go right down to the wire.
The village has until April 12 to accept one of 10 bids opened March 13. The low bid from 2K General Company of Delaware, including all the extra cost alternatives anda5percentcontingency, works out to $104.65 per square foot. JBA Archiects of Newark, who designed the project, expected a cost of $117-124 per square foot.
Council members heard the first reading of the ordinance authorizing the issuance of the bonds Wednesday. Fire Chief Randy Weekly asked council members to waive the three reading rule so the project can get started.
Just five council members were present; council member Bob Gilbert was absent. Village Solicitor Wes Untied reminded council that a motion to suspend the three reading rule requires five votes.
Council President Annelle Porter, who has expressed reservations about the cost of the project for several meetings, suggested holding it for another reading. That would be at council’s April 11 meeting.
“I suggest we hold it for one more meeting hoping we have full attendance,” she said. Porter continued to press for council members to consider the measure as increasing the village’s debt by $2 million (total with interest) rather than the $1.35 million face value of the bonds.
The bonds would be repaid over the next 20 years. Porter’s insistence that the new debt is actually $2 million doesn’t consider the effect of inflation over the next 20 years. With inflation, each year the village pays principal and interest with dollars worth less than the year before. Unless the past 50 some years of consistent annual inflation it somehow reversed, a dollar today will be worth considerably less in 10-20 years.
Recognizing that an effort to suspend the three reading rule without Porter’s support was futile, council members didn’t bring it to a vote.
Council members unanimously agreed to release the first of three annual payments of $10,000 to support the Grow Licking County Community Improvement Corporation. It is a public/private partnership with the Licking County Chamber of Commerce to promote economic development in the county. Mayor Clifford L. Mason is a board member.
Council’s next regular meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, at the municipal complex