Fire Chief pushes for new Vail station
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado –The proposed West Vail Fire Station is up for discussion again Tuesday, as Fire Chief Mark Miller makes another push to secure both support and funding for what he said is a much-needed facility.
The station would decrease response times by about four minutes – crucial since fires typically double in size every 30 seconds, Miller said.
“The town of Vail is in a very vulnerable place in regard to life safety,” Miller said.
The fire station would be Vail’s third in what Miller said is Vail’s most vulnerable neighborhood. West Vail sits close to wildlands, has steep slopes, older homes and many part-time residents. It’s also harder for fire crews to get to, Miller said.
The Vail Town Council asked many questions about the project at its Aug. 18 work session – questions Miller hopes to answer Tuesday before coming back Oct. 6 to talk more seriously about how the town can pay for the new station.
Miller is hoping for a $5 million federal stimulus grant that would cover about 97 percent of the cost, he said. Other options include fire service impact fees that would cover about 80 percent of the cost over time. The Town Council could also defer other capital projects in the 2010 budget, Miller said.
Miller also plans to talk about insurance rates – not only could the new fire station bring down insurance rates for homeowners, it could also improve the town Insurance Service Office rating, the agency that assesses risk and sets rates for communities.
“That would be good news for taxpayers,” Miller said.
Miller will also talk to council about fire resources, mainly in manpower. Miller needs 14 to 16 firefighters on scene within 10 minutes of a call, and can now only get about 10 or 11 on scene in that time frame.
“I hope we can begin construction in early 2010,” Miller said.
Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or email@example.com