Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District to relocate temporarily to Rodeo Grounds |

Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District to relocate temporarily to Rodeo Grounds

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times
The Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District intends to demolish and redevelop its station on Owl Creek Road in April. During the 15 to 18-month interim, the fire station will operate on the Rodeo Grounds at the entrance to Snowmass.
Snowmass Sun file photo |

The Snowmass Town Council gave the Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District the green light Monday to relocate its operations to the Rodeo Lot for 18 months while its new station is constructed.

During a “short and sweet” discussion at a Town Council meeting, as Mayor Markey Butler described it, the four council members present unanimously motioned to approve a memorandum of understanding between the town and the fire district. Snowmass Town Councilman Tom Goode was absent from the meeting.

In this case, the memorandum is essentially a lease between the fire district and the town, which owns the Rodeo Grounds parcel, permitting the district to operate on the land during the interim period, said Snowmass Town Manager Clint Kinney.

The area serves as a parking lot for the Snowmass Rodeo contestants each week during the summer and offers additional parking spaces for day skiers in the winter.

Consequently, the fire district has engaged in an “almost weekly conversation” with the organizers of the Snowmass Rodeo, Snowmass Western Heritage Association and Aspen Skiing Co. to reach agreeable terms and minimize the station’s impact on its uses, Snowmass Fire Marshal John Mele told The Aspen Times on Friday.

At Monday’s meeting, Town Councilman Bob Sirkus commended the fire protection district for its diligence in working with the other parties to address any concerns about the shared use.

“I hope that sets the stage for a very cooperative relationship between the two groups,” he said, noting that the town may serve as mediator if needed.

Of the Rodeo Lot’s approximate 108,000-square-foot area, the temporary fire facility will occupy about one-tenth of the parcel, or 10,000 square feet, according to Tom Newland, a Basalt-based consultant for the project.

The interim fire facility will consist of a 4,200-square-foot tent and three modular mobile structures: one two-bedroom trailer and one three-bedroom trailer — both of which will house a kitchen and living room — and one small trailer that will serve as a shared office space for staff, Thompson said Monday.

The Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District intends to demolish its current station on Owl Creek Road around April 1.

Check the Snowmass Sun, on newsstands and online Wednesday, for more on this story.