Those who think it’s a bad idea aren’t thinking clearly, in our judgment. The claim that voters rejected the proposed station three times is false. While the measures couldn’t get the necessary two-thirds majority vote for a bond issue, more than half voted “yes” each time the proposal was on the ballot.
The federal stimulus program will spend $210 million on new fire stations across the country, in any case. Why not try to nab a $5 million slice for Scotts Valley?
District directors voted this week to have a consultant prepare the grant application, one of 5,000 or more requests expected by federal officials.
It’s anybody’s guess whether Scotts Valley will be one of the winners, but we hope so.
In any case, though, the La Madrona station deserves to be built. It has long been in the district’s master plan as a replacement for the old Erba Lane main station, which isn’t seismically stable.
Moving to the La Madrona site, a parcel of land the district already owns, would make for faster response to the southern end of the district, which used to be served from a station on Sims Road. That station was closed and the land sold as part of the plan to build on La Madrona.
Most residents are unaware that the district extends southward far beyond the city. The district includes Pasatiempo, areas along Graham Hill Road as far as the Santa Cruz city limits, and the county’s Emeline Avenue health department compound.
Moreover, the proposed move wouldn’t jeopardize properties north of Erba Lane, because of the proximity of the newer Glenwood Drive fire station, also built as part of the master plan.
It has been a mystery to us why voters haven’t smiled on a bond issue to complete the district master plan, but this seems like a great alternative.
While we’re on the subject, we would like to put an end once and for all to the extraneous argument that firefighters waste resources by taking a fire engine to do their grocery shopping.
They work 48 hours at a stretch and have to eat. How would you like it if they were in the frozen-food aisle when your house caught fire and their response was delayed by two or three minutes because one firefighter was separated from the engine and the rest of the engine company?
We rest our case.