Where things stand with the Mayor’s fire station budget request heading into December

I watched last night’s Committee Chairs meeting and was able to get a better sense of the timeline for a final vote on funding for the new fire station.

When we last left off at the City Council’s regular meeting in November, there was a first reading of the Mayor’s request to appropriate $6 million for the construction of a new fire station.

That request now goes to the Ways & Means Committee. It is on the agenda for their December 15 meeting. W&M Chair Otis Wheeler (P7) has asked Councilors to have any remaining questions for the Mayor and the city’s Finance Director (both will be at the W&M meeting) in to him by Friday, December 11. I would expect much of the really detailed final discussions of the appropriation request to happen at this meeting.

At the conclusion of the Ways & Means meeting, the committee will have a vote on the request, and then—regardless of the outcome of that vote1—it will move to the City Council.

The City Council will have a second reading of the motion to appropriate the funds at their regular monthly meeting on December 16. This same meeting will then see the required public hearing2 on the motion to appropriate the funding, and then a vote by the full Council.

If the motion passes, then the Mayor’s request for $6M is approved and the project moves forward. If the Council votes the motion down, then there is a required nine-month period before the same request (or a substantively similar one) can be resubmitted. A no vote on the fire station funding request would also throw a significant wrench into the works for the new library project (which is already laden with a fair number of wrenches), given that project’s dependency on demolition of the current fire station.

  1. The outcome of the vote determines the positive or negative recommendation from the committee that you’ll hear about when the motion is discussed by the City Council.
  2. The public hearing is where members of the public can address the Council for three minutes regarding the motion. I am guessing there will be a bunch of people speaking during the general public comment section of the agenda as well.