Residents voice concern over proposed fire station

In other news ...

At its regular meeting Thursday, the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board:

• Approved, 4-0, adopting the agenda.

• Approved, 4-0, March meeting minutes.

• Approved, 3-0, bills totaling $254,604.45. Board chairman Byron Willems abstained from voting.

• Approved, 4-0, a geotechnical investigation and first-phase environmental site assessment from Steamboat Springs-based Northwest Colorado Consultants at a cost of $6,650 for property related to a possible second station.

• Approved, 4-0, petitions into the fire district for Robert and Karen Snavely and Tyler and Megan McWilliams.

— Board member Tony Maneotis was absent.

At Thursday’s Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board meeting, board chairman Byron Willems posed a question to Craig resident Bruce Timberg about the fire board’s exploration of a second fire station.

“I would ask you, if you were sitting in this chair, what would you do?” Willems asked.

“I wouldn’t build a second station with that money,” Timberg responded. “I have all respect for (firefighters), but at the same time, I get upset when I see a $6,000 toilet seat that the Pentagon’s buying and I feel this fire station is a $6,000 toilet seat.”

Timberg was one of several residents who attended the fire board’s regular meeting Thursday. About an hour-and-a-half of the meeting was used for audience comment surrounding a proposed second fire station south of The Memorial Hospital on property belonging to Colorado Northwestern Community College.

During the meeting, the fire board approved a $6,650 expense for a geotechnical investigation and first-phase environmental site assessment from Steamboat Springs-based Northwest Colorado Consultants for the property.

The proposed second station, when completed, would include four bays for vehicles, living quarters for firemen and an education room with stadium-style seating.

Additionally, it would feature several training elements including a live fire training building and a five-story tower for physical training.

Responding to questions, fire officials stressed their capital fund was because of fiscal planning and building a second station was planning ahead for the future.

“I’ve heard a lot of talk that we don’t need Station 2,” Willems said. “Our job as a board is to do the best thing for the district and that’s to plan for the future, and we have the opportunity to build a Station 2 that someday we will need.

“I don’t know how soon that is. None of us really know how soon it is that we’ll need Station 2, but this is a good environment to get a lot of bang for your buck in building and we do have funds.”

Resident Steve Martin expressed concern that by building the station, the department would throw off funding for a 10-year plan the department is currently in the middle of. Concerns included the maintenance or replacement of vehicles and whether the department could afford it.

“If you start spending all your money on a training center … you will be coming to the public and asking for another tax increase,” Martin said.

Board member Chris Nichols said money coming into the department would cover financial costs if the current budget is spent.

“Yeah, we’re spending the million-and-a-half (dollars), but we also have $450,000 coming in next year in that capital fund,” he said, noting the capital fund is in addition to a $250,000 contingency fund.

Resident Jayne Morley told the board she attended the meeting looking for more information on the proposed second station.

“I can’t say I’m convinced we need a second station, in all honesty, but I appreciate the fact that you’re studying it and considering the future,” she said. “The training part and the equipment for the firefighters, I support that wholeheartedly. I don’t know if the best answer is a second station with barracks, but I think we get off point assuming we’re going to break ground tomorrow.”

The fire board addressed firefighters during the meeting and told them they had the board’s support.

“We know you’re doing your best job and we’ll do our best job,” Willems said. “We’re going to do our best job to make this thing happen.”

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Comments

cclarue 2 years, 11 months ago

It is interesting that Mr. Timberg cares at all about what happens in this town. Every property he owns is a complete eyesore and everything he has constructed is hideous. If the second station is constructed, please don't subcontract any of the work to him. There would be no $6,000 toilet seats. They would all be rumaged from the landfill.

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justthefacts 2 years, 11 months ago

Fact: My crystal ball must be broken, it shows a future for Craig totally different than that of the fireboard..

Fact: My crystal ball sees coal being attacked from our legislature and eastern slope interest. It also shows coal fired power plants dissapearing.

Fact: My crystal ball shows the possibility of Craig being a one horse town in 15 years when our energy jobs go away.

Fact; The fire board crystal ball sees a thriving metropolis of over 20,000 in 15 years. ( Metropolis: a Greek word meaning; futuristic urban dystopia.)

Fact: Moffat County population grew by less than 200 people in the last 10 years, at that rate Moffat County will have 20,000 in 50 years.

Fact: The fire board will need stations with living quarters in Dinosaur and Maybell by then.( Oh wait, the fire district only goes several miles past city limits now, poor Maybell and Dinosaur are on their own, no district money going to them!!!)

Give me the windex, that word metropolis needs to go away!!!!

Fact: My crystal ball shows the fire board building a training center come hell or high water!!!!

Fact: Chris Nichols says: ( Reading between the lines) that there is so much money pouring into the Fire board through the mill levy, everything that he and Chief Billy can dream of is affordable.

Fact: The only way to stop this outlandish thought is for the lowly taxpayer to tighten the purse strings.

Fact: "The Taxpayer giveth and the TaxPayer can taketh away". ( Book of Facts 3: 2)

Fact: I am taking my crystal ball in for a tune up even though it was working just fine last week. ( The picture seems clear. Wierd???)

Just The foreseeable Facts

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lonelyone 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm not sure we need all the stuff the fire board would like build, but I still think next to the hospital is a terrible idea. I really wish they'd find somewhere else to build what the citizens DON'T want and have VOTED DOWN 2 or 3 times already.

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truthhurts 2 years, 11 months ago

Plant does pay....3.497 mills on their assessed property value.

Over $400,000 annually or nearly half the entire fire district budget. The only thing sinking is my IQ every time I read one of your comments. At least you gave up on the give it to the schools gibberish.

Still undecided on this topic but I am glad they are providing more information to the public and they better be right with the fiscal side of it because there will be no way they would be successful with another mill if they aren't.

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truthhurts 2 years, 11 months ago

You say the plant should pay. I tell you they do and the amount. Your reply is I don't care who pays what mill levy but the plant should pay.

Compelling arguement.

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saunders 2 years, 11 months ago

Many comments have revolved around the fact that the Fire Department wanted to build a training center and had mill requests defeated on two occasions. That is an indisputable fact that even facts himself couldn't get wrong.

However they could have started construction on the center the day after the mill proposal was defeated.

How is this possible?

Simple...they weren't asking for permission to build a training center. They were asking for funding to build and support it. The district voted against providing them with those additional monies. By no means were the forbidden to build it. If they had the funds to build a scaled down version or build it in sections it would have been well within their right to proceed with what they felt was a district need.

Often times comments make it sound like the vote was about allowing them to build it. The fire board can build facilities, purchase equipment and run the department as it deems necessary because that is what the were elected to do.

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Jon Pfeifer 2 years, 11 months ago

You get the sense that this board is going to shove a second station down our throats whether we like it or not. We, the voters, messed up when we passed a tax increase for this organization without a sunset clause. They simply have more money than they need.

Referred Measure:

Shall a sunset clause be added to the adopted mill levy increase passed for the fire department to purchase equipment and "other capital improvements" effective immediately?

Come on tea party. Do something useful for a change.

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truthhurts 2 years, 11 months ago

Ok I get it now...the $400,000 they annually contribute now should get them no special consideration. The board should listen more to the needs of the residential home owner instead of evaluating what is best for all parties. Thanks for setting me straight.

It is official. I will support the decision they make not because I consider it a great idea but because they are the most qualified to make those decisions. I doubt anyone on this forum has the expertise to make the call on if it is needed or not. Except for maybe saunders.....him/her still knows way to much to be an average tax payer.

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