Fire district lobbying for new facility


COTTONWOOD, Calif. - The Cottonwood Fire Protection District is hoping for change, in the form of a new home.

Fire Chief Eugene Zahara said so many improvements are needed at the current station on Brush Street. Electrical problems and poor ventilation are actually creating health hazards for him and his firefighters.

Space is limited, too. The building was built in 1913 as a mechanics garage and the fire department moved there in 1930.

"We're not even all the way, 100 percent compliant," Zahara said. "We do the best we can with the funding available to us. We're a fire district though, and we're a special district within the state of California. The way for us to increase revenue has been limited by different propositions that have been passed over the years."

Zahara said they tried putting a bond measure before the voters last year but it failed by a narrow margin.

He said the money is there and available through a USDA Rural Development Fund. It comes in the form of a $4-million bond that needs voter approval in November.

"It's going to be under the [November] general election. It's going to be Measure D on that ballot," Zahara said. "We've already submitted all of our paperwork to the elections office. We've got our bond attorney that's drafting all of the material that we need to have drafted up for it. We are going to move forward with it."

The plans for the new site are already drawn up – a new building at 4 th and Brush Street in Cottonwood.

Zahara said three new fire engine bays will allow for quicker response time. He said the location will also give easier access to main roads through the district.