HARRISBURG, Ore. — Third time was not a charm. Voters have rejected a fire services bond measure in Harrisburg for a third time this week by about 40 votes.
Just weeks after a fire ripped through a nearby business, the residents in Harrisburg said no to passing the measure to give its firefighters a new station.
Voters said no to a new station twice before in 2002 and in 2006.
The fire chief says the current station doesn’t have a live-in area for firefighters, and there’s only one bathroom.
The $4.2 million bond measure on the May ballot would’ve provided all that, plus the space needed to house all their equipment.
The measure lost by about 40 votes.
Many of those who voted no say the town’s small enough and it doesn’t matter if volunteer crews come from home instead of the station. And while a few minutes may not seem like much, the department says it might be all the time needed to prevent a tragedy.
“When we have areas like Mount Tom, which is 15-20 minutes away, that extra two or three minutes could be the difference between life and death for an EMS call or the difference between saving a home and not saving a home in a fire,” said Fire Chief John Goucher.
If it had passed, those with a $100,000 home would have paid $88 a year.
The fire department held a board meeting Wednesday to talk about what their next move would be. They said that they know that they’ll have to put out the bond measure again. They’re just not sure when. They’re thinking they won’t wait quite as long this time around though.