Denver Water backs down a bit in Dillon Dam Road dispute
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
FRISCO, Colo. ” Denver Water officials on Wednesday rearranged barriers placed on Dillon Dam Road to accommodate fire trucks, complying with demands for greater access from local emergency responders.
But fire officials say more changes are needed.
“This was a step in the right direction, but it still doesn’t allow open access,” Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue Chief Dave Parmley said. “Yes, we learned we are able to get a fire truck through. But someone still has to get out of the truck to unlock the gates. To respond to emergencies we need unimpeded access.”
Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue received three sets of keys to open locked gates on either side of the dam as part of the effort by Denver Water to allow emergency access to the roadway that was closed abruptly last week for security concerns.
The fire department issued a “notice of violation” late Tuesday evening, saying the barriers violate the international fire code.
Fire officials inspected the barriers Wednesday afternoon and discovered that, although access was improved, the locked gates continued to hinder responses, Parmley said.
“The fire code is so specific,” Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue public information officer Brandon Williams said. “Unimpeded is unimpeded. If we have to get out and unlock gates, that is considered by the fire marshal as impeded access.”
Lake Dillon Fire Marshal Steve Skulski issued an “order to comply” after the inspection, referring the fire-code violation to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, which is responsible for pursuing any criminal investigations related to the violation.
“The order to comply seeks the re-opening of the road for total access,” Parmley said. “Dillon Dam Road is a commonly used access route for emergency responders, and at this point [barriers and locked gates] shut us down from continuing our response.”
A remotely operated gate could be a potential solution should the road remain closed to public access, Parmley added.
“Denver Water did make a concession, and we appreciate that,” Williams said. “We are closer than we were before, but we still aren’t there yet.”
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