Fire board puts land up for sale

Members hammer out 2006 budget projections

The sale of acreage owned by the Craig Rural Protection District should help the agency's bottom line.

Fire board members decided at their regular meeting Thursday night to put the district's remaining 2 1/2 acre-parcel on Industrial Avenue in Craig up for sale at its appraised value of $250,000. The district's other 1 1/2-acre plot sold for $100,000, and it is currently the site of Thunder Rolls Bowling Center.

"We never purchased the property for profit. We bought it to make a training center," Fire Chief Chris Nichols said about the department's initial 4 acres behind Kmart. "The taxpayers said 'No,' so we'll sell the property and move on."

Proceeds of the department's sale to the bowling alley provided funds for the department to front a matching grant to purchase a much-needed water-tanker truck, Board President Tommy Cotton said.

A Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant provided the department with an up to $60,000 matching grant for the purchase of a cab and chassis to retrofit an existing truck. Board members accepted a bid of $88,305 from American LaFrance Transwest out of Commerce City for pick-up, transport and installation. The department is responsible for fronting half of that amount, thanks to the grant.

Nichols said the water-tanker truck should increase the department's water-carrying capacity by 30 percent. The truck should be ready for use by February, Nichols said.

Board members reviewed the district's budget, which is expected to be adopted at the next board meeting in October.

The district will be receiving an increase in county taxes next year, based on an increase in the valuation of the district's 1.9-mill levy allocation. The district is set to receive an increase of $43,409 more than was passed in 2004. Next year's total budget is expected at $458,618. The district reported $323,021 to date in carry-over funds from the current year.

The department aims to save money by allocating less on a number of items, including insurance, community fire prevention, rescue tools and training wages.

Amy Hamilton can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 208, or ahamilton@craigdailypress.com.

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