AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin voters will see 11 different city bond propositions on the ballot next month, including Proposition F, which is about public safety.
The city is asking for $38 million in new spending to renovate fire and EMS stations.
Austin Firefighters Association President Bob Nicks says the $13 million in Proposition F would go toward renovating some of the city’s oldest fire stations.
“We literally have been waiting for decades for some of these improvements,” said Nicks.
“Firefighters live there a third of their lives. Some of the stations have gotten to the point where they are becoming dangerous structures as far as stability of walls and roof systems. There is old roofing that needs to be replaced. There are holes in the driveway that continue to get worse as they drive over them,” he continued.
It’s a similar story with the city’s EMS stations.
“These stations were built in the ’70s and ’80s. They have infrastructure issues, they have mold issues,” said Tony Marquardt, the Austin-Travis County EMS Association president.
According to Marquardt, a big problem Austin-Travis County EMS faces is the city’s population growth. “Our call volume is expanding and we haven’t added any additional resources,” he said.
The $25 million proposed for EMS in the bond would be enough to add the capacity for an extra ambulance at four of the city’s central stations.
“There are a number of things that we get asked to weigh in on in bond elections,” he said. “I think a number of them are important but few are as important as making sure that we’re keeping up with emergency services,” Marquardt added.