Fire districts want the public to have a say about idea for future merger |

Fire districts want the public to have a say about idea for future merger

John Colson
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Three fire protection districts in Garfield County are holding meetings this week to hear what the public has to say about the districts’ collective future.

The chiefs of the Glenwood Springs, Burning Mountains and Rifle fire districts have been talking for months about the idea of merging into one countywide district.

But, according to Erin Williams, administrative assistant to the Glenwood Springs department, “We don’t have a predetermined outcome, as far as merging into one fire district.”

An ongoing $45,000 feasibility study, split among the participating districts, is expected to be concluded in October, Williams said. The meetings this week are to gather information that will be incorporated into the study.

One meeting was held Monday evening in Glenwood Springs. Meetings will also be held at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Silt Firehouse and at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Rifle Firehouse.

The Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District is not participating in the study, or in the merger talks, in part because its boundaries extend into Pitkin and Eagle counties.

The meetings this week are being run by Emergency Services Consulting International, of Wilsonville, Ore., which is conducting the study.

The consultant, Williams said, is “taking an overall look at all three departments,” analyzing such particulars as the fiscal effects of merging or not merging, the different personnel attributes of each department, response zones for the departments, and the “departmental assets” that might figure in merger talks.

The meetings are expected to last at least an hour in each location.

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