Wheatland electors reject spending $2.5 million on fire station

Wheatland officials count the ballots.

Wheatland residents casting ballots at a special town meeting of electors Monday defeated a motion to spend no more than $2.5 million on a fire station addition and renovation.

The vote was 186 no and 96 yes, town Chairman Bill Glembocki announced at the end of the meeting.

The meeting was held at Wheatland Center School’s middle school in order to be able to maintain social distancing.

Voting started in earnest at about 5:40 p.m., said town Clerk Sheila Siegler. The meeting was publicized as starting at 6 p.m.

Most of the voting had taken place by about 6:45 p.m. Town Chairman Bill Glembocki announced at one point that voting was being held open to allow three firefighters who were on a call to cast ballots. One of the last people to vote was fire Chief Lou Denko.

Most people left the meeting after casting a ballot. About 40 people waited to hear the results.

This is the second time this year spending on a new fire station was rejected by voters. In February, a referendum on a proposed $3.8 million new station plan was defeated by a vote of 426 no to 308 yes.

Denko has said the current 40-year-old fire station in New Munster is inadequate for modern firefighter safety, training and proper equipment maintenance and storage.

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