Wheatland special electors meeting Monday to include vote on spending $2.5 million for new fire station

This is a possible floor plan developed for the town of a new firehouse plan that adds on to the existing building with an estimated budget of around $2.5 million. (Click image for larger view) /Town of Wheatland graphic

Wheatland town electors will be able to vote Monday on whether to authorize funding for a new fire station not to exceed $2.5 million.

The special town meeting of electors will take place at 6 p.m. at Wheatland Center School, 6606 368th Ave.

An elector is a resident who is 18 years of age and qualified to vote.

The meeting is being held at the school to provide for social distancing. Face coverings will be required.

Those wishing to vote will need to bring identification and proof of residence, such as a driver’s license or similar item. I.D. and residence proof will be checked when electors enter the meeting. They will sign a logbook and receive a ballot.

The meeting will be called to order by the chairman. Ballots will be collected, counted and the vote total announced.

A “yes” vote will authorize the Town Board to borrow funds to construct a new addition/firehouse in an amount not to exceed $2.5 million. A “yes” vote will allow more detailed plans to be developed.

Here is a rundown of tax impact supplied by the town:

Based on the 2019 assessed value of the Town of Wheatland, the projected cost per $100,000 of assessed value that will show on your tax bill for a 20-year loan of $2,500,000 with an interest rate of

  • At 3 percent: $100,000 = $46.25; $200,000 = $92.51; $300,000 = $138.76; etc.
  • At 3.5 percent: $100,00.0 = $48.37; $200,000 = $96.74; $300,000 = $145.11; etc.

Clerk Sheila Siegler pointed out that though there is a partisan primary being held Tuesday, a vote on the firehouse spending could not be held in conjunction with that election. State statutes require towns to hold a town meeting of electors to authorize the Town Board to construct and finance buildings for the use of the town and electors must be present to vote. There is no absentee voting.

This will be the second time this year town residents have been able to vote on a new fire station for the Town of Wheatland Fire Department. In February, voters defeated a referendum 426 no to 308 yes on a new station plan that was estimated to cost $3.8 million and anticipate the department’s needs for 50 years. That plan was developed by a committee made up of fire department leadership, a Town Board member and a construction company hired by the town to act as a construction manager.

What is needed in a new fire station has sparked some heated discussion at town board meetings, especially between fire Chief Lou Denko and town Chairman Bill Glembocki.

After the defeat of the referendum, Scherrer Construction, the hired construction manager for the project, presented a lower cost plan at a June Town Board meeting. Glembocki and Supervisor Andy Lois supported the lower cost option and voted to bring it to a vote at the electors meeting. Supervisor Kelly Wilson, who served on the original fire station design committee, voted against bringing the new plan to the electors meeting.

This is a possible site plan developed for the town of a new firehouse plan that adds on to the existing building with an estimated budget of around $2.5 million. (Click image for larger view) /Town of Wheatland graphic
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