SF voters pass Prop. B seismic improvements bond measure

Bond measure will provide $628.5M for upgrades to emergency response facilities

It appears voters have approved The City’s nearly $630 million bond to pay for seismic improvements of police and fire facilities to ensure an effective response to emergencies in the event of a major earthquake.

The bond measure, Proposition B, is a continuation of the Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response bond program that began in 2010. It requires a two-thirds vote to pass, just over 66 percent.

In early returns, Prop. B had 77 percent of the vote and that increased to more than 80 percent when the votes were counted from the polling stations on election night Tuesday.

Shon Buford, head of the firefighters union and who was part of the campaign, said that “the voters of San Francisco know the importance of being prepared and Proposition B ensures our great city is resilient for future generations.”

The City intends to use most of the bond money, some $275 million, to pay for seismically upgrading firehouses and replacing the Treasure Island firefighter academy and training facility. Another $121 million is planned to go toward seismic upgrades to police stations and other police facilities.

About $150 million would go to pay for upgrades to The City’s Emergency Firefighting Water System.

Another $70 million would go toward seismic improvements to other disaster response facilities and $9 million would pay for the expansion of the Department of Emergency Management’s 911 call center.

There was no organized opposition against the bond measure. There was a more than $700,000 campaign backing the measure.

Mayor London Breed and the Board of Supervisors placed the measure on the ballot.

In a statement Wednesday morning celebating the bond’s passage Breed said, “We know we need to act now to ensure that we’re as resilient as possible for the next major disaster.”

“This ESER Bond will help our City make critical infrastructure investments so that we’re prepared for the next earthquake or other natural disaster, and so our first responders can take care of our residents when it matters most,” she said.

Buford previously told the San Francisco Examiner that “firefighters and first responders won’t be able to take immediate action if they are rescuing themselves inside crumbling buildings.”

He also noted that the funding would pay to improve and expand the water system to “ensure firefighters can access the water they need.”

This story has been updated.

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