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Upper Pine River fire department receives $800K grant for new station

District would like to begin construction in spring 2024
Upper Pine River Fire Protection District will build a dual fire station and urgent care clinic in Bayfield. The building will be located north of the Eight Corners intersection. The district would like to begin construction in spring 2024. (Courtesy of Upper Pine River Fire Protection District)

The Upper Pine River Fire Protection District has received state funding to complete its architectural design for a new Bayfield fire station.

The department received $800,000 in Department of Local Affairs Tier 2 grant money on Tuesday for the design project, which will make the fire station and clinic “shovel ready,” according to a news release.

“This money helps relieve the burden on the local taxpayers by displacing the cost of the architectural fees and construction documents,” fire chief Bruce Evans said in the release.

The project is five years in the making to replace a station “that was never designed to house full time firefighters,” he said.

The department will relocate the fire station from 75 S. Clover Drive, located about a block from the town’s public works department, to a 2-acre lot at 297 Bayfield Center Drive, near the Eight Corners intersection at U.S. Highway 160 and County Road 501.

The new building will include a fire station, urgent care clinic and community space.

The clinic, in which Durango Urgent Care spent the last few years searching for such a site, will staff physicians, a nurse, and a physician assistant or paramedic to provide care to the area’s underserved residents, according to the release.

A paramedic in particular would help with things like home health services by going out to elderly residents’ homes, the release said.

In November, Bayfield voters approved extending a property tax that will help fund the new fire station and clinic.

Evans said even though it is a big leap for the project, it is step 15 out of 100.

“This advances the station by maybe five more steps as we look to other infrastructure funds in the future to help,” he said.

The new fire station is expected to serve Bayfield and the Pine River Valley for the next 70 years, the release said.


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