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Adams Fire Department building expansion goes to voters

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ADAMS — After months of debate, a final decision on borrowing for a proposed expansion of the Adams Fire Department’s hall will go to the voters Tuesday.

The referendum follows the village’s Board of Trustees Aug. 19 vote to borrow up to $1.2 million for an expansion of the department’s fire hall, which was put to a referendum with the submission of a petition with 300 voters signatures, more than 100 more than necessary.

Proponents of the expansion say it will alleviate spacing issues that have resulted in the department’s trucks being crammed together in its current format and help the department grow in the future. It has also been argued that the village has done its part to cut the cost of the building.

“It’ll never be done this cheap,” said Robert D. Simpson, former village department chief and a member of the department’s building committee. “If we wait any longer, the price is going to go up.”

However, opponents have countered that the authorization to spend up to $1.2 million for the expansion is too high given other obligations the village has, such as paying for its office and searching for a new water source.

In anticipation of the expansion, the village in March increased its tax rate by 6 percent, from $6.68 to $7.10 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Planning Board Chairman William J. Doe, who made the first public criticism of the expansion plan, organized the petition to put the borrowing to a vote.

“That was our ultimate goal in the beginning, to put it up to the voters,” Mr. Doe said in September, after the petition was approved. “Now it’s up to the voters, and it’ll be their decision.”

He did not respond to phone calls on Thursday or Friday.

However, in the past, he said his opposition was to the potential price of the project, not the department or its members.

Village Trustee Keith S. Perry said he felt voters who learn more about the expansion project are in support of it.

“After seeing the facts, they see it’s a valuable addition,” he said.

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