Hot Sulphur/Parshall Fire District looks to expand boundaries
September 16, 2014
The Hot Sulphur Springs/Parshall Fire Protection District is looking to expand its boundaries, substantially.
The district is proposing expanding by approximately 250 square miles into the area south of Williams Fork Reservoir. Currently that area is not in any fire district.
District Chief Brad White explained fire-fighting units from both the Hot Sulphur/Parhall and the Kremmling fire districts have historically responded to calls from the area. The departments bill for engine time while on calls outside of the fire district and, according to White there is, "some degree of success with collections."
Department personnel, however, feel that including the region in the taxing district would allow for greater long-term sustainability.
“We heard from approximately 25 percent of the property owners in the area and about 90 percent of those were in favor of moving forward or leaned toward being included but wanted additional information.”
Fire chief, Hot Sulphur Springs/Parshall Fire District
White explained the HSS/PFD Board of Directors has been reluctant to pull non-willing individual properties into the district. In 2013 the Board decided to investigate the possibility of bringing in larger land parcels to include areas the department covers but are not officially in the fire district.
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Public meetings about the issue were held in spring 2014 in Parshall. Comments were taken at the meeting, on the district's web site, by e-mail and phone.
"We heard from approximately 25 percent of the property owners in the area and about 90 percent of those were in favor of moving forward or leaned toward being included but wanted additional information," said White. "Ten percent indicated they were not interested."
Proposals to expand the district hit a snag last week. The Henderson Mill, located within the proposed addition, has already said they do not want to be a part of the fire district. White explained Henderson Mill accounts for more than 50 percent of the valuation of the proposed inclusion and the mill is therefore legally allowed to opt out of any proposed expansion of the district's boundaries.
Officials from the district plan to meet with representatives from Henderson Mill in the coming weeks.
White said he expects the board to take some form of action at their meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 8. The Board might approve the proposed expansion, amended the current proposal or postpone any decision at the meeting.
More information about the HSS/PFD and the proposed expansion can be found at http://www.hotsulphurfire.com/williams-fork-info.htm. Those interested can also submit comments on the web site.