Kamas needs new fire house
The South Summit Fire District is in the market for some real estate, said Commissioner Kent Leavitt on Monday.
If projected growth occurs in the Kamas Valley, the current station on the corner of Main and Center Street will be too small to serve the community’s needs.
The building is from the 1950s and is expensive to maintain. The lot is too small to expand on and is neighbored by historic buildings that cannot be torn down, he said.
The station is meeting the district’s needs for now, but will not if the community grows. This is long-term planning, Leavitt said.
The discussions about a new station began during the building boom, but real estate was too expensive at the time. The district would prefer to keep emergency services impact fees low in the area, he said.
Land prices are now low because of the recession, yet future growth is still being planned, so the time is right to secure the lot, Leavitt explained.
"There are two or three different places we’re looking at. It’s still up in the air," he added.
The station cannot store all the types of equipment needed to put out every kind of potential fire Kamas may experience. It is in need of a new ladder truck, for example. It would also be nice to have a station that could house a full-time crew if needed someday, he said.
"This is a few years out we could purchase the property depending on the price, but we couldn’t afford to do anything with it. But that’s direction we’re headed," he said.
When that day comes, the district will sell the current station at 30 South Main Street.
"We’re sitting on the best commercial piece of property in Kamas. It’s an ideal location for a business," he said.
Leavitt would prefer that the fire house stays somewhere on Main Street, or at least in a commercial district. A station doesn’t really belong in a residential neighborhood where trucks will need to sound sirens and exceed 35 miles an hour, he said.
The district’s main station is in Oakley, and it has a third, smaller one in Woodland.
Jennifer McDonald, a self-described lifelong Republican, was selected as the Summit County Republican Party chair last week.