Arts center doesn’t put out fires |

Arts center doesn’t put out fires

Dear Editor:It’s nice to know the Isis Theater will soon have new owners who share the dream of Aspen having its own community arts center.Apparently, the new owners hope to acquire the current fire station location from the city to build an arts center, and in return, hope to build one new fire station on the Zupancis property for the community. While the proposal may sound tempting, it’s not a good idea. Here’s why. In only six weeks, voters in the Aspen fire district will be asked to approve a bond to secure funding to build two fire stations. Why two fire stations, and where? One fire station would be built at the North Forty/Annie Mitchell/Burlingame/Airport Business Center to put out fires and respond to car and plane crashes anywhere between Woody Creek, Brush Creek, the airport, Burlingame, Buttermilk, Truscott, the hospital, schools, recreation center and Cemetery Lane. The second fire station would replace the current station in downtown and respond to four-story building fires, Independence Pass car and plane accidents, Red Mountain, Smuggler and Shadow Mountain accidents.Why can’t one location on Main Street serve all of Aspen? It’s called gridlock on Main Street and across Castle Creek bridge. We all have sat in gridlock waiting 10 minutes or more to get over the Castle Creek bridge. If the police and fire trucks experience a five- or 10-minute delay, that delay is long enough to snuff out all the oxygen in a home and produce flames which kill people or burn them very badly. The Aspen Volunteer Fire Department needs two stations in two different locations to adequately cover all of Aspen. A potential new arts center (which is needed) can be built somewhere else, but the priority should be fire protection. Aspen is growing rapidly, and an arts center does not put out fires or respond to car and plane crashes. Please vote yes for the bond for the two new fire stations. Toni KronbergAspen

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