Residents in Bedford narrowly voted against a $17.5 million bond to replace the fire department’s firehouse, which has stood since 1929.
The vote was 651-619.
The proposed firehouse would have been just south of Bedford village on Route 22 and nearly double the size of the current firehouse.
The proposal met resistance from some residents worried about further tax increases and the scope of the project. If it had passed, taxpayers would have seen an increase of approximately $225.
“The Bond Resolution Failed!,” the department posted on Facebook late on Tuesday night. “We are devastated! - Goodnight Bedford.”
“A chief’s role is to ensure the volunteers are safe, healthy, properly trained and prepared for any emergency,” read a letter submitted by Fire Chief Andrew Klein that was endorsed by active and former chiefs. “Unfortunately, we have not been able to provide that for many years in our current facility.
“While we pride ourselves on exemplary service and response times, the inefficiencies of the current building limit our effectiveness to the community. It is time for a new facility to be built to protect the safety and health of your volunteers. These are your friends, neighbors and family members and we need to take care of them, so they can take care of you.”
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