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The Evergreen Fire/Rescue board of directors has created two committees in addition to continuing other committees to address ongoing concerns about the district.
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While the board wants to find a new name for it, one committee is called the State of the EVFD — the Evergreen Volunteer Fire Department, which is the volunteer firefighter organization. Board member John Porter, who is a retired Evergreen firefighter, and board member Stacey Ballinger will serve on the committee in addition to volunteers. Porter said he had seven people interested in serving on the committee.
Second is a Grants Committee whose responsibility will be to search for and recommend grants the department could apply for and to recommend whether the department should hire a grants coordinator or consultant. Board member John Putt will chair the committee, and he is looking for people with grant-writing expertise to serve with him.
“There’s so much about grants we don’t know,” Porter said. “I think it would be nice to have a summary of grants so we can prioritize. That’s something a committee can do. Based on a recommendation of the committee, then we decide if we should hire somebody.”
In addition, the board decided that continuing with a Building Committee — separate from a committee looking at rebuilding Station 1 on the former Evergreen Mountain Market property — was a good idea. Ballinger and Putt will serve on the Building Committee.
Board members said the Building Committee would look at what to do with the former Station 1 building, look at a proposal from the Alpine Rescue Team to build a storage building for two vehicles at Station 7, and consider improving current outlying stations with crew quarters.
“We need to come up with a master plan and have insightful conversations with community members to help us figure out how we are going to tackle having stations being firefighter friendly,” Putt said. “If (firefighters) hang out at a station, then have people at stations to roll out the door (when an emergency call comes in).”
He noted that more people were working from home since the pandemic, so making stations firefighter friendly might entice them to work from the fire station instead.
Board member suggested invited community members to be on the Building Committee because getting more ideas from the community will provide more buy-in.
The board discussed the Station 1 Committee, noting that the committee currently consists of EFR board members and staff.
Board President Chuck Ridings suggested adding community members to that committee to give the public a bigger voice in the project that will spend about $8 million to build a new Station 1 on the former Evergreen Mountain Market property.
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