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Voters move to vote on firehouse

FALLS VILLAGE — At an unusually well-attended meeting, voters overwhelmingly approved moving the question of bonding $2.5 million for a new emergency services center to a referendum. The town meeting vote was held Tuesday, Aug. 16.The vote to hold the referendum was 112 to 22. A “no” vote would have removed the need for a referendum, and the Falls Village Volunteer Fire Department would have been forced to begin the process again.The multipurpose room at the Lee H. Kellogg School was packed with interested citizens. In addition to the 134 people who voted, there were at least a couple dozen more observers and children attending. All the folding chairs were used.The meeting, which started about 20 minutes late because of the turnout, was lively, with extended arguments about procedural matters.There was considerable confusion about what action the town meeting was taking. Clearly some voters attended thinking the actual vote on the bonding was to take place.But things settled down, more or less, once it was clear that the purpose of the vote was whether or not to hold the referendum.That voters approved holding the referendum does not mean that it will pass. A very informal survey afterward was about evenly split between supporters of the firehouse plan, and those who believe that embarking on a major capital project at a difficult economic time is unwise.The referendum was held Tuesday, Aug. 23, at Town Hall from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Absentee ballots were also available. Registered voters in the town of Canaan (Falls Village) and those owning property assessed at $1,000 and up were eligible to vote.UPDATE: The referendum failed by a vote of 126-230. Full update to follow.

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