SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (KION) - UPDATE ON NOV. 29, 2023 AT 5:30 PM - It was a close call with less than 1% needing to pass. The Scotts Valley Fire District discussed during their Wednesday board meeting what their next option is, which may be putting it back in the hands of voters.
People who voted for the new station were shocked to hear how close it was to passing.
"Oh, my, I didn't know it was by that little. But I was really surprised because I know it was expensive," said Michelle Boynton who lives in Scotts Valley.
Scotts Valley Fire District Chief Mark Correria says they are looking all options on how to fund a project like this.
"There was a large a large amount of discussion from the board, everything from looking at grant funds, if they're available to help fund a project like this, to put us reliance on the tax payers within the community, as well as evaluating all of the options that exist," Correria said.
The measure needed 66.7% of approval to pass and voters only got 66.4%.
Correria says they are still going to build the new fire station on La Madrona Drive. But, he told KION that they are trying to figure out how to come up with the money.
If they do include it on a ballot again, it would be in 2025.
SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (KION) - UPDATE ON NOV. 28, 2023 AT 11:47 AM- The Santa Cruz County Elections Department confirmed that a bond measure for a new Scotts Valley Fire station has failed to pass.
Measure W needed at least 66.7% approval to pass. The final results showed that 3,234 voters or 66.4% approved the measure while 1,635 voters or 33.5% opposed the measure.
The fire department said their current facility on Erba Lane does not meet safety or building standards.
In July, the Scotts Valley Fire District were seeking a $22 million facility that would be located on La Madrona Drive.
The Scotts Valley Fire Protection District Board of Directors will be discussing what to do next at their next board meeting which takes place on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at the Erba Lane Fire Station.
Scotts Valley Fire District needs .3% more votes to approve bond for a new fire station
Scotts Valley Fire District faces one more hurdle to building a new fire station, the voters. A bond worth about $22 million still needs more votes to fund the new fire station.
The bond still hasn't reached the 66.7% approval needed to pass. The bond currently stands at 66.41% in support of a new $22 million firefighter building in Scotts Valley.
"I voted for it to pass. From what I understand, the land was already bought some time ago for that very purpose and the current fire station was not to code," said Caroline Mann who lives in Scotts Valley.
Scotts Valley Fire says the current station on Erba Lane doesn't meet building and safety standards and puts the community at risk.
"They had two studies done. The first one was done in 2018 which said that because of the age of the building and the construction that met at the end of its useful life and they weren't sure if was seismically safe. So in 2022, they had it seismically evaluated to determine that it was seismically unsafe as well for the firefighters," said Mark Correira, Fire Chief with the Scotts Valley Fire District.
People like Caroline see the importance of having a stable fire station, given the fires in the past in the county.
Concerned about the final results, the fire department is already looking at the options available.
"We don't have many other options in staying here is not a very good option. My guess is we'll hopefully have conversations internally with our board of directors and the staff and just decide what our next steps are going to be, whether that's looking at other alternatives for housing the firefighters in a safer location or looking at other options regarding funding sources," said Correira.
If passed, the department says it would start working with the city to develop a building plan that would be located on La Madrona Drive. The fire district had already purchased this location last year.
With just about 15 votes away from passing as of Wednesday, residents like Caroline are on edge.
"Money is an issue for a lot of people right now, I don't know if that's behind it. It's so close," said Mann.
I spoke to the county clerk to see how many ballots they had in hand that still needed to be counted. They said they had 9, but expect more to come in in the following days.
The final results we be posted on November 27th. You can view the results as they continue to be updated here.