Emergency services a hot topic at Central City

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Council meets for regular meeting

By David Josselyn

Work Session

The Central City Council met with Staff on February 20, 2018, for a work session prior to the regular council meeting. The topic of conversation was a Gaps Analysis of Emergency Services presented by Dan Qualman of ESCI (Emergency Services Consulting International). The City has long known their firefighting resources are being stretched thin with age and hired an independent third party to conduct an analysis based on 2016 figures. The analysis reveals that there is disparity between urban and suburban response times for emergency personnel. The Central City Fire Department meets acceptable standards 90 percent of the time in urban and remote areas; however, only reach 80 percent efficiency in suburban and rural areas. The standards for these areas are nine minutes for urban, 10 minutes for suburban, and 14 minutes for rural. Remote areas have a wider range of acceptable times dependent on travel distance. Relative to other municipalities, the number of incidents per 1,000 population is alarmingly high. A large number of incidents are good intent calls and false alarms which is an area of concern. The analysis also indicates that the City is understaffed to respond to incidents based on a minimum according to ISO standards. Not surprisingly, the analysis indicated the City does not have a suitable station. The historic Central City station on Eureka is too small and not suitable for housing. The City has already approved the erection of a bubble building near the sand shed on the Parkway that would house apparatus, but it would not include housing. Finally, of the apparatus used (trucks), six of the nine are older than the standard and should be replaced. The cost to replace these trucks would be just shy of two-million dollars.

Dan Qualman gave the City several recommendations based on their findings. Regarding the station, they recommend erecting a new structure down on Lawrence, up on Eureka, or a less desirable location on Virginia Canyon Road. He also recommends adding any combination of resident volunteers, shift volunteers, full-time career, or part-time career to augment staffing.

No decisions were made by Council as this was a work session to gather information. Manager Miera indicated they would be holding a work session or two with ideas on addressing the deficiencies in the department.

Regular Council Meeting

The Central City Regular Council Meeting of Tuesday, February 20, convened at 7:05 pm in City Hall Council Chambers. Council members; Jeff Aiken, Mary Bell, Judy Laratta, Shirley Voorhies, and Mayor Kathy Heider were present. In attendance for Staff were City Clerk Reba Bechtel, City Attorney Marcus McAskin, Finance Director Abigail Robbins, City Manager Daniel Miera, Community Development Director Ray Rears, Public Works Director Sam Hoover, Utilities Director Jason Nelson, Fire Chief Gary Allen, and County Sheriff Captain Tom Ihme.

Mayor Heider led the Pledge of Allegiance and then asked for any amendments or additions to the evening’s agenda. There were no additions or amendments to the agenda.

Consent Agenda

The Mayor called for a motion to approve the consent agenda which consisted of the minutes from the February 6 meeting and regular bill lists through February 8. Alderwoman Laratta moved to approve the Consent Agenda and was seconded by Alderwoman Bell. The motion passed unanimously.

Public Forum

Mayor Heider opened the floor to the public for anyone who wished to speak to a topic on that night’s agenda. No one chose to speak to the Council at that time.

Property Donated to the City

Director Rears introduced Resolution 18-07 which would memorialize the acquisition of the London Mine USMS 14803 by the City of Central. On January 31, 2018, Sharon Valentine executed a quitclaim deed conveying the property to the City as donation. The London Mine property runs along Academy Street on the west side of the City and includes a portion of the City’s cistern building and a memorial cross.

Alderwoman Voorhies moved to approved Resolution 18-07 and was seconded by Alderwoman Laratta. Mayor Heider extended her thanks to Ms. Valentine and her late husband for the generous donation. The motion passed unanimously.

Zip It Up!

Director Rears introduced the first reading of Ordinance 18-02 which would conditionally approve a lease agreement with Denver Adventures, LLC. Denver Adventures would like to use a portion of Chase Gulch for an adventure park including a ropes course and zip-line. The details of the arrangement were not available at the first reading, but will be available at the second reading scheduled for March 6, 2018.

Alderman Aiken moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 18-02 and was seconded by Alderwoman Bell. The motion passed unanimously.

Staff Reports

Mayor Heider commented that she liked the new report format from Community Director (Ray Rears).

Council Comments

Alderwoman Voorhies mentioned she and the mayor took a field trip to see a steam shovel above the City. “It’s a great piece of equipment and still operable,” stated Voorhies.

Alderwoman Voorhies then thanked staff for the fire analysis they heard at the work session preceding this meeting.

Public Forum

Mayor Heider opened the floor to the public for anyone who wished to speak to the council on any items not on the agenda. One resident chose the address the council.

Resident David Josselyn expressed his frustration that the next Council Meeting is scheduled on the same night as the political caucuses in the county. Since the caucus dates are set by the State, he would have liked to see the City meeting be moved or postponed giving the Council and Staff a chance to participate.

Mark your calendars

The Council adjourned the regular meeting at 7:17 pm. The next regular Council Meeting will be Tuesday, March 6 during your regular caucus meetings, 2018.

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