Vail Daily letter: Fire improvements needed

Shortly after April 11, registered voters within the Eagle River Fire Protection District received a mail-in ballot asking for authorization to issue a general obligation bond to fund the construction of two new fire stations and a much-needed training facility. The district needs your support to ensure it can continue to provide an appropriate level of fire protection and emergency response to the communities it serves.

The $25 million bond would fund replacement of the fire station in Edwards, which was built in 1985 as a temporary structure. It would also move the Avon station from the circa 1980 former Avon water plant to a better strategic location near Interstate 70, as well as to build a training facility in a site currently being explored in Minturn.

Both new stations would greatly improve the district’s response times and allow for better strategic positioning of critical apparatus, such as the ladder truck and specialized wildfire equipment. The creation of a training facility in Minturn would allow district personnel and equipment to remain within the district while conducting necessary training activities, thus allowing crews to remain available to respond to calls.

All three facilities are designed to address 50-plus years of growth within the district. The price tag may seem high, but when shared among the property owners throughout the entire district, the cost per property is very reasonable: for a residential property assessed at $500,000, the cost would be less than a cup of coffee, just $3.94 per month. That’s two new fire stations and a training facility, for less than $4 per month.

Real estate prices and construction costs continue to rise; therefore, the district felt it was prudent to ask for approval for these projects now, in advance of projected growth that could exceed the capacity of the district’s resources. Approving this 30-year bond for the Eagle River Fire Protection District will contribute greatly to overall public safety and fire protection for the communities the district serves. Your vote “yes” on Eagle River Fire Protection District Ballot Question A would be the first step in “Building a Safer Tomorrow.”

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Darell Wegert

Board member, Eagle River Fire Protection District

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