CARBONDALE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The White's Crossing Fire & Rescue Company served as a polling place for the special election throughout much of Lackawanna County on Tuesday, but voters were focused on an even more local issue: whether the fire company in Carbondale Township should move to a new location.
"We're desperately out of room, and we were going to build here but we can't because of the marshy lands that it currently sits on," said White's Crossing Fire Chief John Piwowarczyk.
A member of the fire company has donated a few acres of land on Honesdale Road, and there are plans to build a new fire hall there, but some White's Crossing residents have sent a petition to township officials opposing the move.
Residents who showed up to vote Tuesday were split on the issue.
"Well, I think if they need the building they need the building, as long as our taxes aren't increased by a whole lot, I would be willing to pay a little bit of a raise in taxes," James Coleman said.
"It's a win-win, you know? It benefits everybody. Who wouldn't want to have a fire department in their neighborhood?" added Tim Urda.
Inside the polling place, firefighters took advantage of the captive audience with a sign telling residents that the new fire hall would not be taxpayer-funded.
The move to Honesdale Road would give the department enough room to keep all its apparatus inside and hopefully have room for a community space. As far as the fire company's signature sound, it won't be moving. The siren will stay on top of the fire company's existing building.
"The opposition really surprised us because we're here for them and we're putting a newer facility in for them, as well as us. It's really going to benefit everybody when we're done," Chief Piwowarczyk said.
White's Crossing Fire officials told Newswatch 16 despite that opposition, the only thing holding back the move right now is funding. They're hoping county and state grants will get it done.