Proposed Public Safety Bond Issue gets bigger - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Proposed Public Safety Bond Issue gets bigger

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By: Brittany Paris

Cramped work spaces, cracked walls, old buildings. These are the problems Mayor Chris Beutler is hoping to fix with the proposed $30 million Public Safety Bond Issue.

It would fix the city's outdated 911 system and replace Fire Station 12 in southeast Lincoln and Station 10 at 14th and Adams.

But on Friday, that proposal got even bigger.

"This can literally be an issue of life and death," City Council member, Lairion Gaylor Baird, said at a press conference.

She said she wants to add $5 million to the bond, bringing it up to $35 million.

The extra money would pay for two additional fire stations.

If passed, it would mean someone with a $150,000 home would pay an extra $25 in taxes for 20 years.

LFR tries to respond to emergencies in four minutes or less. But there are nearly 8,000 homes that are outside that response time.

They can improve the coverage with the additional stations.

"We talk about four minute travel time for our response time for our emergency workers. Reason for that is whether it's fire or medical emergency, the quicker we get there, the better the outcome," John Huff, LFR Chief, said.

"Keep in mind even though we're talking about fire stations, 79 percent of LFR's emergencies are to medical emergencies," Gaylor Baird said.

But before any of this can happen, the City Council has to approve the bond issue.

Councilmember Jon Camp said while he agrees public safety is the city's top priority, they should slow down and make sure they're prioritizing the city's needs over wants.

He said the City Council should make sure this is the most economical way to improve public safety.

There will be a public hearing on the bond issue on Monday at the County-City Building. The City Council is expected to vote on it that night.

It needs four yes's to be approved. If it is, it will appear on the November ballot.

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