Train Those Fires (City of Boulder Ballot Issue 201)
The estimated cost for the fire training center is about $9.6 million, broken into two phases. The first phase is estimated at $6.1 million. The second phase is about $3.4 million, and consists of a number of upgrades that are nice to have but not critical for safety.
In 2001, a three-year sales tax was passed to build three fire training centers for Boulder County. Although the amount raised was less than projected because of declines in the local economy, a total of $3,775,000 was collected for the Boulder Center. Based on the 2001 estimate, we are only short about $0.9 million to build this center. What has changed in 5 years to make this fire center worth $1.5 million more, an increase of about a third? (The projected cost has more than doubled if you include the phase 2 items.)
The city has already messed up big time on this issue. It purchased property for the center, Valmont Butte, only to find that the property was unusable for this purpose, for a variety of reasons. Miraculously, after this debacle, the city was able to find suitable property THAT IT ALREADY OWNED.
A good fire training center seems like a good thing to invest in and can only enhance the safety of our city. However, I think the City of Boulder needs to get its story straight on this and come back to us with a reasonable plan, not just pulling number out of the air.
Vote NO on Boulder Issue 201.