Voters easily pass fire inclusion |

Voters easily pass fire inclusion

summit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

SUMMIT COUNTY ” The 25-year-old Snake River Fire Department will be dissolved and included into the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District, after the idea received resounding voter approval at the polls Tuesday.

Out of 171 votes cast, 153 answered “yes” to whether the Snake River Fire Department should be dissolved, and 151 marked “yes” to whether the department should be included into the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District, said Lake Dillon Fire Rescue chief Dave Parmley.

Voter turnout was exceptional, Parmley said, with more than double the number of people turning out than past Snake River Fire elections.

The two departments merged operations in January 2005, but required voter ratification to officially form one department.

Now that the departments are legally one entity, a new board of directors will be sworn in May 16. Those board members are Tom Hill, David Zaitz, Jerry Peterson, Larry Gilliland and Harry Baum.

The district has already begun changing the name on some Snake River command vehicles and the sign at the Keystone fire station now reads Lake Dillon Fire Rescue.

“We’re very excited,” board president Zaitz said. “I think this is what the people of Summit County have been talking about.”

The merged department will employ 30 volunteers, 50 paid firefighters and 11 paid civilian employees. It will handle about 2,000 calls per year and cover 225 square miles including Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorne, Dillon, Keystone, Loveland Pass and the Interstate 70 corridor through Summit County.

The Snake River Fire Department formed in 1981.

The Snake River and Lake Dillon boards of directors began publicly discussing the prospect of merging in November 2004. Fire officials have said the inclusion will reduce administrative overhead, reduce costs for capital expenditures, create career opportunities and increase the availability of specialized positions within the department.

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