John Forgay, center, Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board member, reviews a hard copy version of the fire district’s presentation on a live fire training tower proposed for construction in Craig. The power point presentation has been updated to reflect the board’s plans at its alternate location on Industrial Avenue behind Kmart. It will soon be available for public view by visiting www.craigfirerescue.org.

Photo by Joe Moylan

John Forgay, center, Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board member, reviews a hard copy version of the fire district’s presentation on a live fire training tower proposed for construction in Craig. The power point presentation has been updated to reflect the board’s plans at its alternate location on Industrial Avenue behind Kmart. It will soon be available for public view by visiting www.craigfirerescue.org.

Craig fire board’s project moves forward

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In other action …

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

• Approved, 4-0, June 18 special meeting minutes.

• Approved, 4-0, June 21 regular meeting minutes.

• Approved, 3-0, $48,440.70 in fire department bills.

• Approved, 3-0, $2,655 for the purchase of a hose testing pump from Craig Fire & Safety.

• Approved, 3-0, $5,881.97 for the purchase of a hose roller from Deschutes River Manufacturing.

• Heard a budget review from Chris Nichols, board secretary/treasurer.

• Approved, 4-0, second reading of Amendment 12 to the requirements for employment.

• Approved, 4-0, first reading of a retired firefighter program.

• Approved, 4-0, a 2011 audit.

• Awarded, 4-0, a supplemental budget resolution appropriating $1,552,460 to the 2012 budget to pay for equipment purchased in 2011.

• Discussed the annual newsletter.

• Heard a monthly report from Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Bill Johnston.

— Board member Alan Webber was absent from Thursday’s meeting.

— Board President Byron Willems recused himself from monthly bills and equipment purchase discussions.

The Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board is on schedule to build a live fire training simulator before the end of the year on Industrial Avenue, behind Kmart.

The fire protection district owns the property.

On Thursday, fire board president Byron Willems updated fire department staff on the progress of the project.

He reported that he attended the Craig Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Monday, when a 55-foot height variance for the tower was approved, 5-0.

But the approval did not come without public comment and a longer than anticipated discussion about the project.

“A few people, as always, were against our tower,” Willems said. “I sent them our power point presentation, which is updated for our address at In-

dustrial Avenue.”

Among some of the concerned citizens who attended Monday’s planning and zoning meeting was a woman who lives on Mack Lane, in close proximity to the new proposed site.

She is worried about smoke exposure, Willems said.

“I sent her a copy of the presentation right after the meeting and I haven’t heard from her since,” Willems said. “Hopefully there was enough information in there to alleviate some of her concerns.”

Willems then handed out copies of the updated presentation for the board’s review. As soon as it is approved by board member Alan Webber, who was absent from Thursday’s meeting, the presentation will be available to the public by visiting www.craigfirerescue.org.

In addition to the height variance approval, Chris Nichols, fire board secretary/treasurer, said the new site plan would be submitted to the city today.

He hopes the site plan will be voted on during the planning & zoning commission’s August meeting to ensure the tower’s foundation can be laid before September.

The tower carries an estimated price tag of $1.5 million and was originally slated for construction on Colorado Northwestern Community College property near The Memorial Hospital in Craig.

But a land transfer agreement between the college and the fire department fell through last month.

It is the fire district’s intention to hire local contractors for all phases of the tower’s construction, Willems said.

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