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The total operating cost of the building is $2.21 million. Of that, the jail eats about $1.73 million. (I believe the county, not the city, has the obligation to run the jail... so that should probably not be included in a division of costs). So that leaves about $480,000 for operation of the rest of the building. The city is now paying about 12.5% of that amount for its portion of the lease. In other words, it looks like the county is losing a lot of money to keep the city in the same building. Makes no difference to me... I live in the city.
Safety center lease at issue in Craig
by Brian Smith
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.
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.
Last week the paper printed that the meeting was moved to April 28, 2011 (Which would be Thursday). Today they have printed that the meeting will be April 27, 2011 (a Wednesday) and that it will be on a Thursday. I would guess that the meeting is tomorrow at 7:00pm. Let's see if they have the ability to edit mistakes!
Thank you for your letter Mr. Roberts. I found it very informative.
Ah ok, my mistake!
I would have thought they would have this corrected by now. Riding a motorcycle 157 miles is not terribly impressive. I'm guessing it was more in the range of 1,570 miles.
Wow. The more Just the Facts blogs, the more I think whatever the opposite position is gains credibility. The first part of this letter from the board is completely appropriate. The volunteers who make the fire department run here are amazing and deserving of our gratitude, as we are all the beneficiaries of their service. I know some of these volunteers personally and to suggest that they do what they do for an adrenaline rush is offensive. Those that I know do what they do because they see it as a service to a community they care about. They see this service as so important that they are willing to donate their time and risk their own safety even though they have families at home who depend on them. If I felt that the need for the proposed second station were related to making them more safe, I would support such a decision. I am simply not convinced of that need. Frankly, part of the proposed second station is to replace the volunteers with a full time, paid force. That would take away some of the magic of this community of Craig, and I don't like that idea.
Even if I were convinced that there will be a need in the future, the timing right now is terrible. This is the same year that school budgets are being cut deeply (for the second year in a row). Currently, this community's potential for growth is seriously in jeopardy with changes to state energy policy. If any of the mines close, we will be doing the opposite of growing. It is absurd to plan on future growth given current events and the fact that Moffat County hasn't really grown in the past 30 years (the population was larger in 1983 than it is today).
This article states that the distribution of the property value has moved to the west, with the hospital and the new CNCC campus. From what I can tell it is 2.8 miles from the current station to the farthest point along the bypass. One of the nice things about Craig is that it is so compact (unlike the sprawl to the east of us). I don't buy the idea that getting a station within 2.8 miles of the other is necessary to be closer. I also don't buy the idea that we have outgrown the current station. If this is something that is going to support CNCC in creating a training program that will boost our economy, then there is a reason to move out of the current fire station. I just don't think we need two of them.
This 10 year plan that included "facility upgrades" but not the somewhat more important detail of a "second fire station" indicates that voters were misled about why they were passing the mill levy increase. 70% of people responding on this unscientific poll (approximately 500 people) indicated they did not support a second station. The first article claimed that it was the "will of the people" to build a second fire station. That is simply not true.
I don't think that the criticism of the bad results with these fires is necessarily fair. In my (basic) research of firefighting, the most important factor as to whether a building is saved or not is not how close the fire station is, but at what point the fire is reported. This of course undermines the idea that a station on the "west side" of town is needed to be close to potential fires there (because it would be only about 3-5 minutes away from station number 1 with a firetruck that gets to skip all the lights). From what I understand, the measure of an effective firefighting effort is whether the fire progressed from one stage to another stage between the time the fire was reported and the time the fire is extinguished. I don't know enough about those fires to assess how well the fire department did, but obviously distance of the fire station was not a factor there.
I agree with the conclusion of this editorial. The extra funds should be returned, the mill levy repealed or decreased, and talk of and especially spending money on a second fire station should cease. The problem with public finance is that all government entities know that they have to spend the money they have or they will lose it. Then, once they have spent all their money, they can claim they need more. At a time when other governmental entities are facing extreme cuts to their budget, it just doesn't make sense to build something that is unnecessary.
So in the case for a second station the Chief concedes that there is no present need for a second fire station. "You can't wait until the need is here." That's right, that is the fire chief admitting that presently there is no need for a second fire station. There might possibly, someday, in the unforseeable future be a need for one sometime.
This logic is incredibly flawed. By this same logic we should build a new hospital. I know, I know, we just built one and it is sufficient for our needs. But we can't just sit around and wait until there is actually a need. Craig might grow someday. So we should build a new hospital now.
This line of reasoning also ignores the fact that Moffat County is not growing and has not been growing for many years. This supposed "growth" in the west of town is actually replacing out-of-date facilities, like the old hospital and the old campus of CNCC. I seriously doubt we are going to wake up some day and be shocked that the town has suddenly grown beyond the abilities of one fire station. We can, in fact, wait until the need is here.
Clearly, voters have expressed their desire that a training facility not be constructed. That's what voters mean when they disapprove a mill levy designed to build such a structure. Hayden is not too far to go. If we need a live fire building, then maybe the project should look like a live fire training building and a classroom, in partnership with CNCC. A second fire station and certainly living quarters for our volunteer firefighters are absurd because they are not needed. You don't build something based on a huge change that will be vehemently resisted (such as switching from volunteer part-time to full-time, paid firefighters with benefits) without actually making that change first. The money in the fund should be returned to voters. I won't hold my breath though.
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