Station sale signifies change for Lake Dillon Fire-Rescueummit da
DILLON VALLEY -Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue will put its 33-year-old Dillon Valley Fire Station up for sale in a move that could eventually involve the sale of more structures and the building of a new station north of Silverthorne.The department’s board of directors recently voted to sell station No. 9, which has not been used as a response station in more than five years.”We don’t have a need for it,” board member Chic Koran said. “There’s another station a mile down the road and it doesn’t make sense, nor can we afford, to man another station.”Dillon Valley is served by station No. 8 on Lake Dillon Drive in Dillon and has firefighters on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The sale is the first step in what could mean more changes as part of LDFR’s ongoing consolidation efforts with the Snake River Fire District.LDFR Deputy Chief Jeff Berino said the department is “looking at options” for the Silverthorne, Wildernest and Montezuma stations, although the ultimate decision to sell a department-owned parcel is up to the board of directors.”I’m sure we’ll sell other assets,” Koran said. “We’ve outgrown other stations, especially the one in Silverthorne. Eventually that station’s going to be sold.”
Silverthorne, Wildernest and Montezuma are all nonresponse stations and the benefits of selling underutilized assets could materialize in the form of a new, fully staffed station in the future, Berino said.One possibility is the construction of a new station north of Silverthorne where the population is growing in both the town and unincorporated Summit County, he said.LDFR and the town of Silverthorne are talking about combining two parcels of land – one owned by LDFR and one owned by the town – for a new fire facility, although nothing has been settled on at this point, Berino said.The land is located between new Silverthorne Elementary School and the sanitation plant, directly across from the Raven Golf Course.The benefit to residents is that the more money LDFR collects from the sale of its old structures, the less money will come out of taxpayers’ pockets when it comes time to build new capital.”It’s not to say we won’t have to ask (taxpayers) for money, but we’ll try not to,” he said.So far, there have been no offers on the property, although Koran said he has heard the school district expressed some interest in purchasing the property.
The board is open to inquiries from both the public and private sectors. “I think it will be available to anyone,” Koran said.Consolidation updateThe board of directors from both LDFR and the Snake River Fire Department will meet tonight and are expected to sign an intergovernmental agreement. The agreement means the two departments can act as one entity, called the Lake Dillon Fire Authority, until voters decide on the consolidation in November.”We want to show the taxpayers that we can work together from now until the election is set,” Berino said.
The consolidation could mean a slight increase in taxes for those covered by the Snake River district because they pay less than residents in LDFR’s district.The change will only add up to a few dollars a year and the combined fire department will be more efficient, Berino said. Also on Thursday, the boards will select three people from both department’s individual board of directors to act as the new board once the consolidation is officially approved.LDFR and Snake River hope to begin officially operating as a single fire district in January 2006.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or at email@example.com
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