Sep 29, 2014 8:01 PM by Charlene Cheng
Fire Chief Eugene Zahara's worst fear is that a major disaster will arise in his district, not just for the 10,500 residents he serves, but also for the well-being of his fire station.
"I don't think if a tornado or an earthquake came through this building would remain standing at the end of it," he said.
The current building that houses the Cottonwood Fire Protection District is 101-years-old and was originally used as an automotive garage.
Seismic instability is only the tip of the iceberg.
Poor ventilation and electrical issues put personnel's health at risk.
A lack of space forces vehicles to be spread out in multiple buildings, slowing down response times.
"As it stands right now, depending on which piece of apparatus we have to take, sometimes we have to go to the back shed, we have to open those doors up, if I just have to walk out to my apparatus bay, jump on an engine and go, there's not much of a delay," Chief Zahara said.
He has proposed a new $4 million facility that meets safety and building codes, at a location that provides quick access to major roadways.
If everything goes according to plan, the new station will be built on an empty lot on the corner of Fourth and Brush, but voters need to approve a bond measure to make it possible.
"I'm asking the public to inform themselves, if they don't fully understand the bond, if they don't understand the ramifications, come in and talk to us. We know what this current station is, and we know how bad we need another one," Chief Zahara said.
He'll be hosting a town hall at the fire station on October 7 to address any questions or concerns that residents have about Measure D.
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