KINGMAN - Residents of So-Hi Estates could enjoy lower insurance rates in the future after the Golden Valley Fire Board unanimously approved the relocation of Station 11 to within five road miles of the community.
Station 11 will move from 3327 Mayer Road to the corner of Chino and Bacobi roads. Putting the station closer to So-Hi should lower residents' Insurance Service Organization (ISO) rates from a Class 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, to a Class 5, said Fire Chief Tom O'Donohue. The old Station 11 would be retained, with the possibility of being converted into administrative offices.
Three other proposed new stations were either voted down or failed to be brought to a vote during Wednesday's board meeting. That includes the proposed Station 14, which would have been located on Yucca Road near Yuma Road in the industrial corridor just outside of the district's boundaries.
Even though Station 14 failed to come up for a vote, the board voted to buy the property anyway at a cost of $8,300. Board Chair Curt Hardy cast the lone dissenting vote and said he couldn't support building outside of the district. Board member Jeff Morcom countered that purchasing the land was a good investment, even if the district has no plans to build on it at the moment.
"Any purchase of land right now at these prices is money in the bank," Morcom said.
Board member Bill McCarter said having a fire station out there would be like a revenue magnet that would attract businesses that are right now balking at the subsequent higher fire insurance rates because they do not have a fire station close by. But Hardy was adamant that he did not think it was prudent at this time to spend money on anything outside of the district.
"We have an obligation to the rate payers," he said.
O'Donohue said he's working to annex land in the area, which would bring Griffith Energy, the Arizona State Prison complex, UniSource Energy and other businesses into the district. Those businesses currently pay a stipend for protection, which amounts to around $850,000 a year.
"It's clearly evident that as the district grows it will become a part of the boundaries," O'Donohue said.
The board approved the purchase of land at Chino and Bacobi roads for $9,000 for the new Station 11. The board, however, tabled a vote on converting the current Station 11 to administrative offices until estimates for work can be provided. At least one board member was skeptical of O'Donohue's estimate of $15,000 using inmate labor provided by the prison. O'Donohue said he will spend the next month securing bid estimates for the new Station 11.