Fire district boards elected


The Steamboat Springs Rural Fire Protection District elected two new members to its board of directors Tuesday, and the Oak Creek Rural Protection District elected three new members.

Existing board member Robert Kuusinen and new board member Clifford Heltzel were elected to the Steamboat Springs Rural Fire Protection District board to serve four-year terms.

Designated election official Allison St. John said Kuusinen received 34 votes, Heltzel received 33, and Noreen McMahon received 15. The top two vote-getters were elected.

St. John said the election results are considered unofficial until a group of district officials meets today to confirm the votes. St. John said there were no provisional ballots submitted.

Kuusinen said he is glad to have the opportunity to continue serving as a board member and addressing the issues facing the district, including growth west of Steamboat.

Heltzel said he was surprised to find he was elected to the board Tuesday night, especially after a mishap at the polls.

"I went down there to vote, and they didn't even have my name spelled right. I thought, 'Well, there's no chance of getting elected if they don't even have my name spelled right,'" he said.

The spelling mistake was fixed quickly, and the rest of the election went smoothly, Heltzel said. "I think I have a tremendous amount to offer. I have a lot to offer that board, especially after being a firefighter for 25 years," he said.

The Steamboat Springs Rural Fire Protection District covers 470 square miles surrounding the city of Steamboat Springs, including Milner, Steamboat II, Heritage Park, Mad Creek, Silver Spur, the lower Elk River, Elk River Estates, Deer Mountain Estates, Strawberry Park, the South Valley, Cata--mount, Pleasant Valley, Black--tail Mountain and Yellow Jacket passes, the Big Valley, White--cotton, Whitewood and south of Steamboat to Twentymile Park.

The Steamboat Springs Rural Fire Protection District contracts with Steamboat Springs Fire and Rescue to provide fire and ambulance coverage in its area. The Fire Protection District levies a property tax in the district.

In Oak Creek, election official Tina Holliday said James Eskridge, Bernard Knott and Kenneth Burgess were elected to the Oak Creek Fire Protection District board. Eskridge received 136 votes, Knott received 135 votes, Burgess received 90, and Eric Storebo received 69.

Holliday said she and other district officials were ecstatic so many people turned out to vote.

"We were very pleased voter turnout was as high as it was. It was definitely a very good election," she said.

The Fire Protection District's election was on the same day as an election to create a health district to finance the South Routt Medical Clinic in Oak Creek.

The West Routt and North Routt Rural Fire Protection Districts did not hold elections Tuesday because there were no contested seats.

In West Routt, board members David Funk, Susan Bunn and Doug Zirkle were reappointed to the board. In North Routt, Larry Gulley and Jean Urban were appointed to the board as new members.

--To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail


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