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Estes Valley Fire Services Initiative Committee Call To Meeting, January 2009

A new citizen’s initiative is now underway to form an inclusive fire and rescue services district in the Estes Valley. For over 100 years, the fire and rescue services have been provided by the Fire Department and the Town of Estes Park but providing these services to the entire Estes Valley has never been fully integrated into one unified plan. This initiative proposes to remedy that shortcoming with a fully inclusive fire and rescue services plan. We’re having a meeting in January to discuss the initiative and obtain your help in getting the plan approved. Here is the background of the work done so far.

In February 2008, the Estes Park Town Board of Trustees adopted a “plan for a plan” to form a Task Force charged with the responsibility of recommending a plan to the residents of the Estes Valley for a comprehensive fire and rescue services system that would unify the entire Estes Valley under one roof.

The plan was to include a timetable and fiscally responsible funding proposals that would be considered fair and equitable to all the residents of the Estes Valley. In the event that the recommendation resulted in the need for a citizen initiative election, sufficient time would be required to prepare the necessary documents in time for putting the proposal to a vote in November of 2009.

In September, 2008, the complete draft plan was presented publicly for the first time. The first presentation was to the Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department and was primarily used to obtain feedback as to how the firefighters viewed the plan. Firefighter reception of the plan was positive. The second and third public presentations were held for the general public in the Estes Park Town Board Room. Again, reception was positive.

The Task Force presented their plan to the Town Board on schedule in October 2008 and the plan was accepted in principle by the Board. This completed the duties of the Task Force.

Now it’s time to take the next step. A Fire Services Initiative Committee comprised of residents of the Estes Valley must be formed to refine the final Inter-governmental Agreements and the Service Plan required to integrate the proposed Fire District into the Town and Larimer County. Once these legal documents have been approved by the appropriate authorities, the Initiative Committee then moves into the campaign phase. In this phase, the Committee will be solely responsible for the campaign to approve the Plan for the Fire District. This campaign will culminate in a Valley-wide vote on the Fire District Plan in November 2009.

A meeting to establish the Fire Services Initiative Committee will take place on Wednesday, January 14th, at the Estes Park Museum at 6:30 p.m. This will be a “formation” meeting where the opportunities and duties of the Committee will be discussed and membership applications will be accepted. The meeting will be an extremely important meeting for the future of fire and rescue services in the Estes Valley and you are encouraged to attend and participate in this important event. We hope to have between 10-20 people who will form the core of the Committee and, of course, a large number of other Estes Valley citizens will be encouraged to help move the campaign along.
See you at the meeting!

Tom Anderson, Fire Services Initiative Committee Chair

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