Wednesday, January 3, 2001
The end of the year 2000 was a time to reflect on a busy year, especially for Dan Kelliher, Oak Creek chief of police.
"The fire department and law enforcement in general were real busy," he said.
Using a new system to keep track of calls, the Oak Creek Police Department has documented more than 1,800 requests for assistance in 2000.
"That's more than average," Kelliher said.
In 1999, the police were called 1,052 times. Kelliher said there have been more calls this year, but it may not be much more than the numbers show. The new system marks a case number for every call that a police officer responds to.
Before, some calls, such as a dog at-large, were not documented.
"It's real difficult to get the exact number," Kelliher said.
One call that he said was one of the more exciting ones came during the late hours of October.
Oak Creek was awakened by the derailment of seven cars of an empty coal train that plowed up a portion of land around the railroad and closed the Sharp Street railroad intersection.
"That was pretty exciting. As far as I know, Oak Creek has never seen that before," he said.
No one was hurt, but police officers and volunteer firefighter spent that night and most of the next day picking up after the accident.
The fire districts were busy in 2000, too. According to Routt County statistics, up until mid-December, the Yampa Fire Protection District responded to 31 fire calls and 41 ambulance calls in 2000.
In 1999, the firefighters responded 19 times and emergency medical technicians were called 41 times. Oak Creek firefighters went on 53 calls in 2000, as of mid-December, matching numbers from the past two years. The ambulance was called 113 times the most calls ever recorded in the past 20 years.
One of the most memorable calls for both districts may be the Lynx Pass fire in May.
That fire was suspected to have started from a controlled burn near the Horseback subdivision.
The blaze produced flames 70 feet above the treetops.
Before it could burn down a house or go into a national forest, fire crews from around the county subdued it.
For business owner David Bonfiglio, a major event of 2000 in south Routt was that he no longer had to be the president of the Upper Yampa Economic Development Council.
Though half-joking with that comment, Bonfiglio said businesses in south Routt became more involved with the EDC, and more "good people" were willing to take a leadership role.
"We got good people to step up and contribute to getting things done," Bonfiglio said.
In 2000, the EDC, which is a group that promotes south Routt businesses, pulled off another successful Taste of South Routt event, updated its Web site and put a sign at Stagecoach so potential shoppers visiting Stagecoach can see that south Routt is closer to the reservoir than Steamboat Springs.
Bonfiglio, who also campaigned for the Better Education for Schools Today committee, said the school bond was a big deal in 2000 for south Routt, too.
In November, voters in south Routt decided to tax themselves for $8.9 million over 20 years to pay for remodeling and additions to all three schools in the South Routt School District.
The final results showed 770 people voting "yes" for the bond and 466 voting "no."