Indian Hills residents reject bond issue for new fire station

-A A +A
By Sandy Barnes

Indian Hills residents soundly rejected a bond issue to pay for a new fire station in their district, according to unofficial election results posted by the Jeffco Elections Division on Tuesday night.

Nearly 80 percent of 471 residents who participated in the mail-in election voted against Bond Issue 5A, which was projected to double the present mill rate of 12.14 for the duration of the bond.

For a resident with a home valued at $250,000, the increase in the annual tax bill would have been between $222 and $256, depending on the term of the bond.

During a recent community meeting on the bond issue, Indian Hills residents and former fire chief Don Schoenbein voiced strong objections to building a new fire station, and to the added taxes that would bring.

If the bond issue had been approved, it would have generated $3 million to build a larger facility to replace the present 57 year-old structure — a plan that Indian Hills Fire Chief Emery Carson and fire board members strongly supported.

The current building is in need of major renovations and is inadequate to house vehicles and equipment, Carson has said. According to estimates presented at the community meeting, repairs to the present station would total approximately $1.5 million, about half of the cost of building a new facility.

Indian Hills fire board members also said the project could be scaled down to contain costs and keep the mill rate from doubling.

“We’re going to be examining the issue and looking at our options,” said Paul Pettit, president of the Indian Hills Fire Protection District board, while commenting on the failed bond issue.

Indian Hills Fire Rescue serves approximately 1,200 residents in the community.

Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com.