Fire district still expects hefty payment from developer
Spring Valley Development Corp.’s recent financial problems will not affect its contract to pay the Glenwood Springs & Rural Fire District $150,000 per year, said Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Mike Piper.”I have no reason to believe they will not pay,” Piper said. “They are scheduled to make the deposit in WestStar Bank on Jan. 15.”Spring Valley Development Corp. was planning to build a 5,900-acre golf course community, called Chenoa, southeast of Glenwood Springs. But the company closed its sales office in Aspen Dec. 31.Company treasurer Greg Mohl declined to comment on Chenoa’s future, and referred questions to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which took back the property last year after providing financing.Lehman Brothers, one of the largest investment banking firms in the United States, was not available for comment.No construction has occurred at Chenoa, which is planned for 577 homes, two golf courses and an equestrian center, according to a development application filed with Garfield County.Piper said Spring Valley agreed to build the Glenwood Springs & Rural Fire Protection District a fire station at Chenoa, equip it with a fire engine and ambulance, and pay $500,000 per year to staff the facility 24 hours a day. Chenoa’s total outlay for the station and equipment was to be approximately $1.6 million.”It was a great contract,” Piper said.Piper said Chenoa planned to start building the fire station early this year, so that it could be staffed while the project’s infrastructure was under construction. “The district hired three new people, to prepare for their arrival,” Piper said.Piper said Wednesday the station will not be built this year.PIper said Lehman Brothers and the Glenwood Springs Fire District amended the original contract so the firm will still pay $150,000 to fund the three new firefighters, but will not have to pay the $1.6 million at this time.The Chenoa property is not part of the Glenwood Springs & Rural Fire Protection district, Piper said. The Garfield County Commissioners required the developers to provide fire protection as part of the county permit approval process in 2000.Piper called the plan for Chenoa a “benchmark” in fire protection. “The roads were wide, there was good access, every structure over 250-square-feet had to have a sprinkler system,” Piper said. “It was a nice project.”Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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