Cicero The Cicero Fire Department is asking for the public’s support as it prepares for a referendum to renovate Station No. 1 on Route 11.
The all-volunteer department, founded in 1883, has a total of 65 members and covers 12 square miles between the Cicero Fire District and the Cicero Fire Protection District. It has two stations, Station 1 at the four corners of Route 31 and Route 11, and Station 2 near Cicero-North Syracuse High School. The department has responded to more than 1,000 calls this year alone.
According to Cicero Fire Commissioner Jim Perrin, Station 1 is in need of significant repairs. Originally built in the 1950s with additional bays constructed in the 1980s, there are significant structural issues, along with asbestos on the second floor and numerous safety concerns.
“As we pull out, members are getting dressed and the apparatus is going out while they’re getting dressed,” Perrin said. “The apparatus is too close to the road. They’re stopping traffic to pull into the road, and lately, it’s been ugly, because people aren’t stopping for us anymore. Used to be, they’d stop. Now they’ll try to sneak around. And it’s getting worse.”
In order to correct the problem, the CFD has purchased the four-and-a-half acre property to the north using a Bond Anticipation Note (BAN). But before it can proceed with any expansion, the department needs the approval of the voters within the Cicero fire district. The town is divided into five fire districts: Cicero, Bridgeport, Brewerton, South Bay and North Syracuse. Each contract with the town to provide protection to its residents.
“Our fire district is pretty much one mile square radius from Station 1. Outside of that one-mile radius, we contract with the town for protection money,” Perrin said. “We have two budgets we work off of. Brewerton is the same. South Bay is an independent; they solely contract with the town. North Syracuse is a village department. They contract with the town and their village. Bridgeport is in another county, but they still contract to protect a small part of the town of Cicero. But when we do stuff as a district, only the district taxpayers have a say, even though a person in the protection area is getting the same service. We answer to the district taxpayers only.”