S’thorne to get new fire station
Summit County CO ColoradoSILVERTHORNE – It’s been almost a decade since a primary-response fire station has operated out of Silverthorne, but that is set to change in the next two years.The Lake Dillon Fire Protection District, the Town of Silverthorne and the Silverthorne-Dillon Joint Sewer Authority (JSA) are working on conceptual plans for a joint fire/public works facility on about 5 acres at Highway 9 and Golden Eagle Road, across from the Raven Golf Course.”Doing our strategic plan and our community fire plan we have determined that as call load goes up and as development is spreading rapidly to the north, the town of Silverthorne definitely needs a fire station,” said Lake Dillon Fire Deputy Chief Jeff Berino.The existing fire station on Blue River Parkway in Silverthorne, which was not built to accommodate an overnight crew, has been used for administrative offices and equipment storage since 1997 when the fire department began staffing a crew in Dillon 24/7. While the crew in Dillon arrives at calls for service in North Silverthorne in about 5 minutes, a new station in Silverthorne would eliminate the 3 miles of roadway and 12 traffic lights it takes to get there, Berino said.A Silverthorne station has been on fire officials’ radar since the mid-1980s when a developer donated three-quarters of an acre of buildable land at Golden Eagle Road to the fire department – then called the Silverthorne Fire Department. Since then, Silverthorne Fire merged with the Dillon, Dillon Valley and Frisco departments to form the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District, which retained the land in that consolidation.
Now, the department’s board of directors is ready to build, and they won’t have to do it on their own. Both the JSA and the Town of Silverthorne own land on either side of the fire district’s triangle-shaped parcel and have agreed to partner with the fire district on the project, which is estimated to cost $1.5 to $2 million, Berino said.”We all said, ‘Hey we all need something out there, would we be willing to vacate some property lines and do something that’s advantageous to all of us?’ We all kind of lit up, it was a neat, like, yeah,” he said.Early plans for the land call for a 25,000-square-foot building that public works and the fire department would share. Berino said the department needs about 10,000 square feet – enough room for a kitchen, an office, sleeping quarters for a crew of four firefighters and four drive-through bays for the fire vehicles.Once the building’s complete, Silverthorne plans to move its utilities staff in to help ease overcrowding at the public works facility on Brian Avenue.”We did a full-fledged study a few years ago on what we needed for space. That study concluded we needed five acres; right now we operate on about one-and-a-half acres,” said town public works director Bill Linfield.The JSA’s involvement is limited to providing some land for the project, which will allow them to realign their driveway to share an entry/exit point with the new facility.In the 2007 budget, the Town of Silverthorne has set aside $100,000 for the planning and designing phase of the project, and $750,000 in 2008 for construction, Linfield said. Of that, $500,000 will come from the developers of South Maryland Creek Ranch, who earmarked the funds for the project as part of their December 2005 annexation agreement with the town, Linfield said.Also for the planning phase, the fire department has already set aside $45,000 from part of the proceeds from the sale of an extra fire truck and two fire engines due to its consolidation with the Snake River Fire Department.
It will also allocate about $350,000 it collected from the sale of the old Dillon Valley Fire Station last year.”We’re banking that money for this project and we’ve really tightened up our budget with the ultimate goal to hopefully cash fund the station, the construction of it,” Berino said.When the Montezuma Fire Station – which is listed on the market at $475,000 – sells, that money will also be dedicated to the new fire station, Berino said.Ideally, the fire station in Silverthorne would be staffed with a crew of four firefighters 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which would cost about $750,000 per year, money the fire district doesn’t currently have, said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Dave Parmley.The fire district and its board of directors will examine every resource option it has to pay for the staffing, but could end up asking voters for a small mill levy increase down the road to help out, although that’s a last resort, Parmley said.”It’s not an option that’s on the table right now,” he said.The fire department has enough fire vehicles to outfit a new station without buying new equipment, Berino said.The fire district has no plans to sell the Summit Cove or Wildernest fire stations, but the board could possibly decide to sell the current Silverthorne station once it determines where it will move its administrative services, Berino said.
Estimated timeline for new fire station/public works facility on Golden Eagle Road:• January 2007: put out a request for qualifications from potential architectural firms• Early spring 2007: send out request for proposals to three to five firms• Summer/fall 2007: gain necessary approvals from the Silverthorne Planning Commission and Silverthorne Town Council for the plans and vacating lot lines between the three entities’ respective pieces of land• Spring 2008: break ground on construction for occupation in 2009Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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