New fire station: quicker responses | ParkRecord.com

New fire station: quicker responses

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Someone reporting a fire in the West Side should not have to wait for firefighters for more than eight minutes, the benchmark set by the Park City Fire District.

The district on Wednesday plans to break ground on a new fire station that Kelly Gee, the chief, says will assist with the eight-minute goal and provide better service to the populous Park Meadows neighborhood.

The district has long planned to build a fire station on vacant land off Holiday Ranch Loop Road and the new facility is planned to cover 8,066 square feet. The district plans to spend $2 million on the project.

Gee says growth in the area requires the new station, located at 2360 Holiday Ranch Loop Road, and the building will provide the fire district with better resources.

"More people, more assets, lower response time, the availability of more personnel on a scene at any given time," Gee says, describing the benefits of a new station.

Gee expects the facility will open by June 2008. The fire district says, once the station is fully staffed, nine firefighters will be on duty in the lower reaches of Park City, up from five now. The numbers do not include those assigned to Silver Lake, who typically do not respond to calls at the lower elevations of Park City.

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The new fire station will have three bays, enough space to hold at least three vehicles, such as fire trucks or ambulances.

The fire district does not control the land but officials are negotiating with City Hall, which owns the parcel. An agreement between City Hall and the fire district is likely. In it, the city would trade the land off Holiday Ranch Loop Road for the land where the Park Avenue fire station now sits. City Hall might build restricted affordable housing on the Park Avenue land.

Gee describes a deal in which City Hall pays the fire district $1.5 million for the Park Avenue fire station and a house next door and cedes control of the Snow Creek land.

The sides expect to consider the deal later.

Gee says the fire district-City Hall land deal is key for the project. Otherwise, he says, the price tag would be higher.

"Where else are you going to put it? People want top dollar for their property," he says, adding the fire district decided on the location partially because of the chances of striking a deal for the land.

Trucks leaving the new fire station will take less time to respond to calls in Park Meadows than those at the Park Avenue facility. Gee predicts the time it takes to get to calls in Old Town will be about the same as they are now.

City Hall and fire district officials are scheduled to attend the groundbreaking, scheduled at 4 p.m.