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Referendum seeks $1.5 million bond for Clarence fire hall

Residents in the southeast portion of Clarence are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a proposal for $1.5 million in bonds to finance the renovation of the Clarence Volunteer Fire Company’s fire hall at 10355 Main St.

“Everything was well received” during a nearly two-hour public information session Thursday night, according to Douglas G. Garlapo, chairman of the fire district’s Board of Fire Commissioners.

“I believe we totally reviewed the project,” Garlapo said.

Bill Shuster, a resident of the fire district who has no connection to the Fire Department, agreed.

“I think the proposal was very well received,” said Shuster, one of about 50 residents who attended the presentation. “It is obvious they have done a lot of work to come up with a very practical plan.”

Shuster was among those who voted against a fire district bond proposal four years ago, when it was defeated. But he favors the new proposal.

“It is a big improvement over what they offered four years ago,” he said.

The fire company has 56 members preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.

The referendum seeks to bond up to $1.5 million to help finance the estimated $3.5 million reconstruction of the Main Street fire hall. Among the improvements are renovations for the equipment room and expansion of offices.

Up to $2 million in the fire district’s building reserve fund would be used to pay for the rest of the estimated cost of the construction, offset by any federal, state, county or local funds that could be obtained for the project.

Garlapo said the board would put the construction project out for public bidding and hopes that, if approved by residents, it can get underway next spring.

Residents who have lived in the fire district for at least 30 days prior to Tuesday’s voting will be eligible to cast ballots.

Voting is scheduled to run from 3 to 9 p.m., but Garlapo said the voting will run longer if necessary to accommodate late-arriving residents.

The fire district runs from the southern border of the town to Keller Road and to the town’s north and east borders and west to Gunnville Road.