An Opinion About The Proposed Fire District
To The Editor,
The time has come to write a letter to the editor about the proposed Fire District. I feel the time is right for the Town of Estes Park to let go of the Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department and it become it’s own district with no influence from the town. The new district needs to be operated much the same as any other district in the Estes Valley, hospital, school, recreation, and so on. Set a mill levy for all residents and business within the valley so the cost is spread evenly among all property owners.
For many years, the fire department has assisted the hospital on calls and has received so little in return. The hospital charges for all calls made with the ambulance and care provided at the business location. The fire department assists on 100 or more calls a year for the hospital and receives no monetary assistance from the hospital. Either the hospital should give the fire department half of the money from calls, or the fire department should charge the same as the hospital for every call they go on.
All districts charge for their services to all residents, owners and visitors in the Estes Valley. The fire department should be a tax entity and also charge for their services just like all the other districts do. Nothing is free in this world any more and all entities need to run like a profitable business to stay afloat and provide the best services and support for the community it serves.
The fire department responds to roughly 400 calls in a year, sometimes more, sometimes less. Roughly 75 percent of the calls are medical assists and auto accidents with the percentage about the same for both. With a new fire district in place, all residents and businesses, both in town and out of the town’s city limits, would share in the cost of the fire department’s every day expenses and would be able to reclaim the money spent on medical and auto accidents by billing insurance company’s. This seems like the only logical approach to this age old problem, not all people will be happy and some will be okay with this proposal or anything else that is implemented.
Mark D. Chrastil
The views of this letter are of the writer only, not his family or friends.