Keep the fire burning for fire district |

Keep the fire burning for fire district

Dear Editor:The Aspen City Council passed a resolution on April 24, 2006, in support of the Aspen Fire Protection District purchasing land to build a new fire substation at the AABC and redeveloping its current station at 420 E. Hopkins Ave.On May 2, voters within 87 square miles of the Aspen Fire Protection District will be asked if the district should be authorized to issue a $14 million dollar bond to accomplish the above goals. With a unified voice, all five Aspen City Council members strongly believe a yes vote on District Question A is imperative for our community. The new station to be located at the North 40 will allow the fire district to better meet the emergency needs of those outside the downtown core. In addition, it will provide adequate space for heavy rescue equipment, facilities for wildfire and other training exercises, and will house public educational resources. Recently the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners approved the master plan and rezoning of the North 40 location.The city passed a resolution endorsing the COWOP task force recommendation for the redevelopment of the fire district headquarters at 420 E. Hopkins. In addition, it approved a 40-year lease extension for the fire district’s current location. The COWOP support mirrors the sentiment of the Civic Master Plan Task Force, a group of 24 citizens at large, who also advocate keeping the fire station in the core. Redeveloping the current site, which was built in 1961, will improve its efficiency and allow the fire district to house an AVFD backup ambulance for the first time at its downtown facility. A yes vote is not only necessary for the future of the fire district, it is the only option if the city of Aspen wants to see improvements in the near future. There are no other options on the table. There are no other sites in downtown Aspen where the fire district can be housed. While the Zupancis property was at one time eyed for a future fire district location, it is now intended to be used for shared civic functions between the city and county.Please keep the flames low and the heat high on your support for positive change, and vote yes on May 2 on the Aspen Fire Protection District Question A.Mayor Helen Klanderud and council members Jack Johnson, J.E. DeVilbiss, Rachel Richards and Torre

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