Wyo. chief seeks new station for faster responses

By Jodi Rogstad
The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Heavy traffic on Dell Range Boulevard is slowing down Cheyenne Fire and Rescue trucks, and the city's fire chief said it may be time to move the Dell Range station.

Fire Chief Guy Cameron told the City Council's Finance Committee on Monday, "It takes over five minutes to get to Mustang Ridge" from Fire Station No. 5 at 2014 Dell Range Blvd. "Just getting out the door, the clock's running."

Cameron was seeking the committee's approval of a contract with local architecture firm Noel Griffith & Associates for $63,480 to produce a planning document for a new fire station.

This would include a conceptual design, site assessment, program development and project budget. The money would come from fifth-penny sales tax revenue.

A new fire station would cost around $8 million, Cameron said.

Besides traffic, the 1963-built facility has other problems. The roof leaks, there are "issues with the foundation," and it has the original heating system. With two bays, it won't help the department's future equipment needs, and there is no space for community outreach, he added.

Councilwoman Georgia Broyles said east Cheyenne needs a boost in fire protection.

The problem with moving the location, said Councilman Jack Spiker, is that the land Fire Station No. 5 sits on would have to revert to the Cole family.

Cameron said that one site the city is interested in is a parcel on Converse Avenue, west of Anderson Elementary.

He later confirmed this was the site that is currently owned by the former investors of the Taco John's Events Center.

The city had swapped this, and two other parcels, in exchange for the privately owned ice center.

After a zone change failed, city officials are now contemplating buying back the swapped parcels with $3 million worth of land on the corner of Windmill and Dell Range.

Broyles asked about the demand on Fire Station No. 3 at 1720 Cleveland Ave. The highest number of calls comes from east Cheyenne.

"We ought to look at the entire community before looking north," she said.

Cameron said the fire-training complex at Commerce Circle would one day double as a Fire Station No. 4.

"The issue for No. 5 is the struggle with response time, which is impacted in every direction because of Dell Range," Cameron said. The study will "give us some of those answers" on how to best serve the area.

The Finance Committee voted 2-1 in favor of the contract. Spiker and Councilman Jim Brown voted yes; Broyles voted no.

The full council will vote on this contract at its July 13 meeting.

Afterward, Broyles said building a new fire station would require sixth-penny sales tax dollars.

"I don't know how much voters are willing to take on," she said. "It's really important to prioritize that right now."

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