Snowmass town council approves new fire station, interim site |

Snowmass town council approves new fire station, interim site

Erica Robbie
Snowmass Sun
A rendering of the proposed Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District at 5275 Owl Creek Rd.
Charles Cunniffe Architects/Courtesy rendering |

The Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District on Monday checked the final box toward securing both its short- and long-term future.

At a Town Council meeting Monday night, the elected officials unanimously motioned to approve a resolution permitting the district to move forward with two plans: proposals for a new station at its same site and the temporary facility at the Rodeo Lot.

“We’re excited to get going,” Basalt-based project consultant Tom Newland, who presented before the council, said to the Snowmass Sun in an interview after the meeting.

“It’s always good to see a project come to fruition.”

Demolition of the existing fire structure was originally set for April 1 but has recently been pushed back due to weather, Newland said Monday.

The district intends to demolish its site at 5275 Owl Creek Road sometime mid-April, he said.

The new station in Snowmass is proposed to be 4,000-square-feet larger than the current facility, he said, jumping from 18,000-square-feet to around 22,000.

“Most of that addition is in the form of bays for fire trucks,” as well as increased space for equipment storage and administrative offices, Newland said.

Another change to the new fire facility is the site of the community gardens.

Snowmass’ community gardens, currently located on the fire district’s parcel, are small plots of dirt that people may use to grow their own produce.

These gardens are “very helpful for folks that live in apartments or condos without access to land of their own to have a garden,” Town Manager Clint Kinney explained.

As a result of the expanded new station, the town of Snowmass has agreed to relocate and manage the community gardens at Cathy Robinson Park.

Snowmass voters in November 2016 passed a property tax that will primarily fund construction of the new firehouse, which is estimated at about $17 million, according to Newland.

In the meantime, an interim fire station will occupy approximately 10,000-square-feet or 10 percent of the 108,000-square-foot area Rodeo Lot.

The council approved a memorandum of understanding between the town and the fire district allowing an interim fire station on the Rodeo Grounds, which the town owns, exactly one month ago.

Since then, the project team purchased a 4,200-square-foot, tan-colored tent that will house the temporary site.

Newland told the council Monday that it cost more to lease the tent than to buy it.

In addition to the tent, the interim fire facility also will house 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.

Five apparatuses also will live at the Rodeo Lot: three ambulances, a fire engine and a ladder truck.

The new station will be “modern and up to date and cover all of the fire district’s needs,” Newland said.

“I think it will be a welcome addition to the community.”

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