Abington voters approve fire station project

Abington voters on Saturday officially gave the green light to the proposed $38.5 million fire station DPW project by approving the tax hike needed to pay for the work.

It was a 582-370 vote in favor of the debt exclusion override, or 60% to 40%.

“The people have spoken,” said Derek Haimaidi, who chaired the project planning committee. “Thank you to all the residents that came out to vote today.”

Turnout was light Saturday, which featured yet another heavy weekend rain storm. About 9 percent of the town’s registered voters cast ballots either on Saturday or during early voting.

Town Clerk Leanne Adams said the day went smoothly with no reported issues.

The Fire Station/DPW Building Committee has proposed combining the town’s two existing fire stations into one main station located on Central Street next to the police station. The town’s public works yard will be rebuilt in the back of the complex. Both the fire and public works departments currently work out of decades-old structures that are outdated, undersized, and in dire need of repairs.

Town Meeting overwhelmingly approved spending money on the project last Saturday. The project will be paid through a 30-year bond. Saturday’s ballot election was required because the town will raise taxes above the cap set under Proposition 2 1/2 to pay off the bond.

Town Manager Scott Lambiase said project consultants will move ahead with drawing up construction plans with the hope of putting it out to bid in eight to 10 months.

Abington won’t officially take out the bond until about 2027, meaning it will still be a few years before the tax hike is reflected on tax bills.

Fire Chief Jack Glynn posted a message on Facebook thanking residents for their support.

“It has been a long 4-year process to get to this point in bringing the Town of Abington a new modernized Central Fire Station,” he wrote. “We are extremely grateful for your support in voting for this project that will benefit the Town of Abington for the next half century!

“We continue to strive daily to give the residents of Abington the very best of service every day and look forward to seeing this project progress together with our DPW Department Members.”

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