Fire district declines Main Street site | AspenTimes.com

Fire district declines Main Street site

Aspen Times Staff

The Aspen Fire Protection District won’t relocate its downtown headquarters to Main Street, prompting renewed discussion about what the city should do with the property it bought for $3 million in 2002.The fire department is no longer focused on consolidating its resources at a downtown location, according to a news release Chris Bendon, the city’s planning director, issued Thursday.It had been offered first dibs on the Zupancis property at 540 E. Main St., next to the Pitkin County annex building, after the city acquired it. The City Council has been waiting for a decision from the fire district since.Meanwhile, the city is leasing the property to the Obermeyer Redevelopment Co., which is temporarily housing several displaced businesses there during the construction of nearby Obermeyer Place. The lease runs through the summer of 2006, but the city’s Civic Master Plan Advisory Committee will look at options for use of the parcel when it meets Wednesday.The fire department had considered the Zupancis property for a new fire station that would include space for training, apparatus and firefighter housing.But when the Pitkin County Airport announced it would raze the facility where the fire department had kept an emergency vehicle, the fire district began evaluating a new site adjacent to the Airport Business Center.From there, the department can respond to emergencies west of Castle Creek – a challenge when Main Street is clogged.”Rather than a consolidation of resources at one larger downtown site, the fire district is looking at a redistribution of resources to address emergency response needs across the district,” Fire Chief Darryl Grob said in the news release.The district’s headquarters will remain at the current location on Hopkins Avenue.With sites both downtown and at the ABC, the department can respond to calls both in town and on the growing northwest side, Grob noted.