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Public forum needed on 9-R building sale

Durango Fire Protection District (none of whose board members live within the city limits) is buying the Durango School District 9-R Administration Building for an Emergency Services Center. Durango City Council says it cannot get involved, as it was not a party to the contract and has seen no plan.

DFPD did not talk to the city until it asked them to co-locate its police department with DFPD.

The contract has a time-sensitive contingency allowing DFPD to exit the contract if it is not in the best interests of the community. No plan exists as to how this project would work.

By design, the plan is being withheld until after the purchase and, by circumstance, the Durango community has not been and may not be asked about its “best interests.” The voice of our community is being stifled.

Before tax-supported entities spend taxpayer money on this proposed project, which could irreversibly affect a major part of our downtown commerce, traffic, living patterns and quality of life, the consequences of such a move should be detailed and disclosed at a public forum held by the three parties involved: the city, School District 9-R and DFPD.

If you agree a plan should be presented and a public forum should be held to discuss a common-sense approach to siting a new Emergency Services Center, preserving Buckley Park and the vitality of our downtown, contact DFPD Board of Directors, dfpdboard@durangofire.org; Durango City Councilors, citycouncil@durangogov.org; 9-R school board, Schoolboard@durangoschools.org; 9-R school superintendent, kcheser@durangoschools.org; and savebuckleypark@gmail.com.

The signers of the letter are all Durango residents and local business owners.

Ted Wright, Lars Hansen, Greg Hoch, Holly Jobson, Sheryl Lock, Ellen Stein, Michael Wanger, Kent Ford, Joe Hanrahan, Tim Wheeler, Salye Stein, Fred Grimes, Bobbie Carll, Holly Duckworth, Robin Wiles, Ken Francis, Julie Meadows, Steven Gawlik, Audrey Royem, Mary Oswald, Peter Schertz, Jim Sims, Michael Hoffmann, George Schmidt and Charles Shaw