Frontier Paving will relocate from New Castle to a long-abandoned building on Airport Road in Rifle and received permission from Rifle City Council to remove a nonoperational fire sprinkler system from the structure.
Council granted an exemption from the city's existing building code at their April 3 meeting that requires fire safety systems. Instead, Frontier Paving agreed to pay for the installation of two fire hydrants, one near the building and the other along Airport Road. Fire alarms and other monitoring systems will be installed inside the building as well.
The building is located near the Tri-State Generation and Transmission power plant, but has been abandoned for approximately 10 years, said City Attorney Jim Neu. The fire sprinkler system's water source was the power plant, but when the building was abandoned, the system's pipes were not drained and many broke due to freezing, added Charles Ellsworth of Frontier Paving.
The building had been vandalized as well, but the structure was intact, said architect Jeff Johnson, who is helping Ellsworth with the relocation project.
"We'd like to occupy two levels of office space," Ellsworth told the council.
Colorado River Fire Rescue Fire Marshall Kevin Whelan said his agency "loves fire sprinklers, and even though this building had one before, we know we have a unique situation here that doesn't really allow it."
Whelan said a new sprinkler system would likely cost between $25,000
In other business at their April 3 meeting, City Council:
• Awarded a nearly $53,000 contract for geotechnical services for the new water treatment plant construction to CTL Thompson;
• Discussed several options for the relocation of the pedestrian crossing from Alpine Bank on Airport Road, just west of the roundabout, for better pedestrian safety;
• Discussed some upcoming city social media projects to improve communication with residents; and
• Approved the reorganization of the management of the city parks and recreation departments.
When current recreation director Aleks Briedis relocates to the Chicago area next month, his position will be combined with the parks director, currently held by Tom Whitmore. The new parks and recreation director will oversee both departments, and a parks superintendent position will also be created. Whitmore has said he plans to apply for the post. City Manager John Hier has said the change will likely result in budgetary savings.