Indian Hills residents to vote on bond issue for new fire station

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When Indian Hills residents get their ballots in the mail for this November’s election, they will be asked to vote on a bond issue to fund construction of a new fire station.

The Indian Hills Fire Protection District is asking residents to support Issue 5A, a bond issue capped at $3 million to build a new fire station on Parmalee Gulch Road.

A new station would have larger bay areas and space to accommodate additional wildland fire equipment, and would replace the aging 57-year old structure, said Fire Chief Emery Carson.

If the bond issue passes, construction on the new station is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2014. The facility would be built on the site of the present station, Carson said.

It also would allow the district to better meet its operational needs, as well as address a host of noncompliant and deteriorating structural and maintenance issues associated with the existing building, according to information from the agency.

It has been 34 years since the fire station has had major improvements to its infrastructure. According to district findings, the costs for renovating and bringing the current structure up to code are cost-prohibitive.

In the coming years, a new roof, asbestos mitigation, new septic system, and renovation of the administrative area are needed at the present fire station.

A community meeting to help residents understand the ballot issue, weigh the pros and cons of the initiative, and reveal the annual amount district taxes would increase is scheduled for Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Indian Hills Community Center, 5381 Parmalee Gulch Road.

Architectural renderings will be presented, along with an opportunity for community members to ask questions and provide feedback.

If the bond issue passes, there would be an increase in the current mill levy for Indian Hills residents, Carson said.

Indian Hills Fire Rescue serves approximately 1,200 residents and currently has a 12.14-mill levy. The amount of the increase was undetermined at press time.