CFD asking for $5.6 million station renovation

— The Cicero Fire Department held its fifth public information meeting Monday, Jan. 6, to advise taxpayers about its plans to renovate Station No. 1, located at the corner of Route 11 and Route 31 in Cicero.

Though much of the information had been previously presented, this was the first time members of the Cicero fire district got the chance to hear how much the proposed reconstruction could cost. According to Cicero Fire Commissioner Jim Perrin, the department is looking at a total of $5.6 million to renovate the apparatus bays, rebuild the station and address the safety issues at the site. Perrin said that works out to about $74 a year for taxpayers within the fire district. A vote is expected some time in February.

“We can only build to the amount we budget for and get passed and can’t go one dollar over without going back to the voters,” Perrin said, “whereas if we don’t use what we get approved for then we can take that off the price and lower the tax bill.”

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.

The department provides protection to the entire town, but only a small portion of that is within its fire district. Cicero also has four other fire districts (Brewerton, South Bay, North Syracuse and Bridgeport). All five also contract with the town to provide protection to the areas outside their specified district. Residents within that fire district pay taxes that help support the department; those taxes would also help support the renovation, if it passes a referendum vote.

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