The Rye Fire Protection District Board of Directors met Wednesday, August 20. RFPD’s newest Board member is Bill Monck, replacing the outgoing John Schaiberger.
The Board approved a new 457(k) elective retirement plan for RFPD employees. The plan allows individual employees to set aside pre-tax dollars in a special plan administered by the Fire and Police Pension Association, in addition to the pension provided by the FPPA.
The RFPD is preparing to build a new fire station, and the Board is preparing a bond sale to provide the funds. The bond proposal was sent to a consultant for suggestions. The consultant suggested several changes, and the Board voted to accept the changes. Look for more information on the fire station and the bond issue in coming months.
Fire Chief Phil Daniels announced the District just purchased a truck from PepsiCo. The truck has 150,000 miles on it, but is in great condition, and they expect it to last many more years. It will be used to tow two new trailers the district is receiving from FEMA. The trailers will provide shower and restroom facilities for firefighters fighting large fires far from home. Firefighters are often called out of their own districts to assist with larger firefighting efforts, and two RFPD firefighters are on assignment in Oregon and three are in California.
The Bureau of Land Management is requiring all fire departments to provide new portable fire shelters for their staff. The BLM is also providing a grant for 90% of the funds needed to purchase these shelters. The board voted to accept the BLM grant and allow Chief Daniels to sign the contract.
Sara Blackhurst, Executive Director of the Greenhorn Valley Chamber of Commerce, informed the board of the upcoming Vision Summit and requested RFPD’s participation. She is requesting participation from all elected bodies in the valley in order to make everyone’s voices heard. Chairman Sonny Hood and Director Ed Sutcliffe agreed to represent RFPD at the Summit.
Sam Serracino and Dick Greet from the Rye Board of Directors approached the RFPD for help with raising funds for the new water project in Rye. The water project, which includes a new water treatment plant and meters on each tap, will cost approximately $1.1 million. Rye was recently granted $467,350 by the Department of Local Affairs, and although grateful for the grant, the town of Rye is still struggling to come up with the rest of the money. Rye is approved to borrow the remainder at a very low rate, approximately 1.25%. But even that leaves them in a tough position, as paying it back would require tripling the entire town’s water bill for the next thirty years. Rye is approaching every group possible, including state and county officials, and they’ll keep us updated on their progress.
This article originally appeared in the September 3, 2008, edition of the Greenhorn Valley View.