Funding for two fire stations awaiting voters’ okay

By Bridget Bauer

Photo by Kate Patrick

If you’ve seen the Bryant Fire Department around lately, that’s because the firefighters are on a mission to spread the word about an important election Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Lately, they’ve had booths at some Bryant athletic events, including Friday’s final regular season high school football game. They’ve also scattered signs around the town and have been at Grace Church, an early polling place.

What the fire department wants the community to do is to vote in a special election to allow the fire department to use funds from a 3/8 tax passed in 2006 for public safety to build two new fire stations. The public is not voting on a new tax and is simply giving the fire department permission to use the tax already in place to pay for the stations.

“We don’t have the funds to pay upfront,” Michael Mullins, president of the Bryant Professional Firefighters 4606, said. “This is really more like a bond issue. Once people find out there will be no new taxes, they are supportive. The people I have talked to don’t oppose it.”

Because the city of Bryant has grown significantly, so has the need for the fire department to provide more services. Less than 10 years ago, the fire department started providing 24/7 protection which was made possible by the passing of the 3/8 tax for public safety. The North and South stations had to start service as soon as possible and fire trucks were stored in the existing bay. But, mobile homes had to be brought in to house the firefighters. Now, the stations are not meeting the needs of the fire department and Bryant citizens.

Hours for voting on Nov. 12 are 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Polling places are:

First Methodist Church – 508 North Reynolds Road

Central Arkansas Church of Christ – 8220 Hwy. 5 North, Alexander

Grace Church (formerly First Pentecostal) – 4200 Hwy. 5 North

First Southern Baptist Church – 604 Reynolds Road

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