“My heart really is in the fire department,” said Marc Rosenberg, a board member of the Indian Hills Fire Protection District who is seeking re-election in May.
Rosenberg is a certified firefighter and first responder who has served as a volunteer with Indian Hills Fire Rescue for the past 11 years, seven of which he has been a board member. He also is assistant fire chief for the department.
Rosenberg said he joined the fire district board to give other members insights about the daily operations of the department. He is the only active firefighter on the board.
While discussing last November's failed $5 million bond issue to build a new fire station, Rosenberg said he voted against it.
“We did learn a valuable lesson,” he said. “We would approach it differently in the future.”
After learning of the bond issue, which would have doubled the amount of fire district taxes they would pay, Indian Hills residents soundly defeated it in the November election.
“I believe there is a need for the (new) station,” Rosenberg said.
However, a station could be built for less money than the one the fire board members were considering, he said.
In the future, the fire board would involve the community from the beginning and hold public hearings on building a station, he added.
“We would start with public feedback,” Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg said fire board members decided to build a new station on the present site on Parmalee Gulch Road, rather than a substation closer to U.S. 285, because no suitable land was available in that location. Land available for a substation near the highway is in the floodplain and cannot be used, he said.
“That’s why we looked at expanding the fire station,” he said. “I think everybody in Indian Hills thinks something needs to be done with the station.”
The existing fire station is 57 years old and in need of repairs. Some of the walls are unstable, and the fire trucks are stacked on top of each other, said Rosenberg.
While discussing the fire district budget and expenditures, Rosenberg said a fire tender, purchased from a company that subsequently went bankrupt, created a financial deficit. The fire district has filed suit against the company and is in the process of recovering some of its losses, he said.
The Indian Hills fire district also is planning to sell a portion of property it acquired to provide more parking at the fire station, Rosenberg said.
Traditionally, the fire district has done a good job of managing its finances, he remarked.
Rosenberg serves as collections and distribution manager for the wastewater treatment plant of the Evergreen Metropolitan District, and has lived in Indian Hills since 1987.
“Being a board member is a thankless job,” Rosenberg said.
Indian Hills fire board members are not paid for their service and rarely hear positive comments from the community, he said.
Contact Sandy Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org.