Put the brakes on new fire station

Durango Fire Protection District (none of whose board members live within city limits) is buying the Durango School District 9-R Administration Building for an emergency services center. The Durango City Council says it cannot get involved as it was not a party to the contract and has seen no plan.  

DFPD did not talk to the City until the district asked the City to co-locate the Durango Police Department with DFPD.  

The contract has a time-sensitive contingency allowing DFPD to exit the contract if it is not in the best interests of the community. There is no plan as to how this project would work. By design, the plan is being withheld until after the purchase and, by circumstance, the Durango community has not been and may not be asked about its “best interests.” The voice of our community is being stifled.  

Before spending taxpayer money on this proposed project, which could irreversibly affect a major part of our downtown commerce, traffic, living patterns and quality of life, the consequences of such a move should be detailed and disclosed at a public forum held by the three parties involved: the City, 9-R and DFPD.  

If you agree a plan should be presented and a public forum should be held to discuss a common-sense approach to siting a new emergency services center, and preserving Buckley Park and the vitality of downtown, contact DFPD Board of Directors at dfpdboard@durangofire.org; Durango City Councilors at citycouncil@durangogov.org; the 9-R School Board at Schoolboard@durangoschools.org; 9-R School Superintendent at kcheser@durangoschools.org; and savebuckleypark@gmail.com.   

The signers of the letter are all Durango residents and local business owners.

– Lars Hansen, Greg Hoch, Holly Jobson, Sheryl Lock, Ellen Stein, Michael Wanger, Ted Wright, Kent Ford, Joe Hanrahan, Tim Wheeler, Salye Stein, Fred Grimes, Bobbie Carll, Holly Duckworth, Robin Wiles, Ken Francis, Julie Meadows, Steven Gawlik, Audrey Royem, Mary Oswald, Peter Schertz, George Schmidt and Dave Mehan.