Talks between fire district and town stall

Issue over when current station would be vacated 

By Mark Reaman 

Discussions were set to continue between the town of Crested Butte and the Crested Butte Fire Protection District (CBFPD) over the fire district’s request for the extension of sewer service to its proposed safety campus just north of town by the cemetery. The issue was on the May 20 agenda but no discussion took place and the matter was moved to an executive session at the next meeting.

The conflict came after the town received a letter from the district dated May 16 that essentially stated the district did not intend to leave the current station in town for at least a year after the new facility was completed. Town had made it clear it expected the town-owned facility would be vacated within six months of a certificate of occupancy being approved.

While the fire station was originally built by the fire district in 1974, town took ownership in the 1980s. A 99-year lease was in place but when the CBFPD opted out of the Intergovernmental Agreement with the town in 2019 that included a piece of free land in the Slate River subdivision, the lease was part of that document and thus dissolved.

Given that May 16 letter, the council decided they needed legal advice on the development so chose to not proceed with the discussion at the May 20 meeting. When asked by an audience member if there would be any further discussion at the meeting between the council and fire district, mayor Ian Billick quickly replied “no.” The council then set an executive session for the June 3 council meeting. From there the topic is expected to be placed on the June 17 council agenda.

CBFPD CEO Sean Caffrey said Tuesday it is unlikely that the district would need 306 Maroon for any long-term purpose after new facilities are built. “We are happy to discuss with the Town the future of the facility and we know they have ideas for it,” he said. “We believe we can come to a good agreement on a plan in a year or less from completion of the new facilities.”

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