City requests funds for engine

Officials to present case to get new fire truck

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— The city of Steamboat Springs' proposal for a fire engine that could be used for both wildfires and structure fires is the only request coming from Routt County in this round of Energy Impact Fund grants.

But the city will be among many requests when it presents its case to the Energy Impact Fund committee March 13. City Director of Intergovernmental Services Linda Kakela said there are more than the usual number of requests coming out of the state's Northwest region.

"As I understand it, there are, out of this region, more applications than is typical," Kakela said. "There is quite a lot of competition for funding."

Managed by the Department of Local Affairs, the Energy Impact Fund is built with severance taxes on coal mines and other mineral extractors and the state's share of royalties paid to the federal government for extracting minerals on federal land. The fund is meant to help communities deal with the impacts of mineral extraction through improvements to basic public facilities and infrastructure.

The fund has three granting cycles each year. Grant presentations are made to the state Energy Impact Fund committee first and its recommendations are passed to Department of Local Affairs Executive Director Bob Brooks, who makes the final decision.

Kakela said the city will know the state committee's recommendation the day of the presentation, but Brooks' ruling will come a few weeks later. The committee can either recommend no funding, full funding, partial funding or a loan.

Kakela said a City Council member and county commissioner, speaking on behalf of the city, usually make the presentation to the state committee.

The city asked for a $140,000 grant to contribute to the cost of a $230,000 Type I wildland urban interface fire engine, which would protect homes in wooded areas and fight forest fires.

The Steamboat Springs Rural Fire Protection District has committed $30,000 to the fire engine and the remaining $60,000 would come from the city.

The city's current engines can neither hold adequate water to protect structures nor handle rugged terrain. The Type I engine hauls its own water and is equipped to reach structures in remote areas.

"It meets both the city and county needs," Kakela said.

The engine was listed in the city's capital improvement budget for 2003. Kakela said it would be housed at the Mountain Fire Station.

No other grants are being asked for in this round, but four grants are being prepared for the next cycle, for which applications are due in April, County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said.

Routt County is asking for funding to help install water and sewer lines at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, Stahoviak said. The Hayden School District, town of Hayden and town of Oak Creek are also working on grant proposals.

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