After months of public pressure, Summit Fire & EMS board selects a design for a Silverthorne fire station | SummitDaily.com
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After months of public pressure, Summit Fire & EMS board selects a design for a Silverthorne fire station

On Nov. 15, 2022, the board of directors for Summit Fire and EMS decided on this rendering to move forward as the Silverthorne Fire Station
Summit Fire and EMS/courtesy image

The Summit Fire and EMS board of directors has chosen a concept for a fire station in Silverthorne — a move that comes after months of public pressure at Silverthorne Town Council meetings.

Residents on the north side of the county have expressed concerns with Summit Fire & EMS and the town of Silverthorne about not having a fire station on the north side of Interstate 70. Some residents are dealing with insurance cost increases because they live farther than 5 miles from the nearest fire truck. In Summit County, this includes Montezuma, parts of Eagles Nest, Three Peaks, Summit Sky Ranch, Acorn Creek and Pebble Creek subdivisions.

Tuesday morning, Nov. 15, Fire Chief Travis Davis presented options to the board, each with its own phases.



Board members agreed that going ahead with one version’s two phases would probably be best in order to cut wait times for the station and prevent higher costs down the line. 

“My gut feeling is — let’s just build this thing right now, all of it,” board President Lori Miller said. “We have reserves. We might as well spend it because it’s only going to cost more money every time we add on. Every time I’ve seen towns do a Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 (of a project), it’s all of a sudden six years later, (and) it’s still Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 — it still hasn’t happened.”



According to the concept, the Silverthorne Fire Station would have three pull-through bays, six dorm rooms for staff, a kitchen, fitness room, day area and office space. Miller added that fully staffing the station up front might not happen immediately, but there would be at least resources north of Interstate 70. Currently, communities on the north end of the county, such as Silverthorne and Heeney, are serviced by the Dillon station. Davis added that if the building department approves, the bays could be built first so that residents at least have a truck in town before the rest of amenities are finished. 

“There’s $4 million in the capital budget (allocated for the station) for 2023. We’ve also started the conversation about our operational reserves,” Davis said. “We’re looking at — if you look at the budget message, we’re looking at 13 months. We know that’s high, but this is an organization that’s consolidated two more times in the last three or four years, and so having those operational reserves in place throughout that transition — when you’re looking at $1.5 million dollars per month to run the operation — is very important. However, I think we all agree that we’re at that point now where if we reduced it by seven months, we have six months of operation reserves. That gives us quite a bit more money to build this station.”

In addition to the current budget, Davis said that the department has several fail safes for costs, such as a potential bond measure in the future. 

“This truly is a capstone of everything this organization has been working toward for the last 25 years,” Davis said. “I think this is the right one. Let’s just keep it moving in any roadblocks that may be out there, and if we can eliminate them, let’s eliminate them and keep it moving.”

The next step will be for the board to get engineered drawings of their concept and then put out a request for proposal for the construction. The department will post updates at SummitFire.org.


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