Fire station under construction

Stagecoach chief expects building to open in June, six months behind schedule

Construction on Stagecoach's new fire station is under way.

In 11 days, volunteers and contractors lifted the station's first story frame onto its foundation. At the rate construction is going, Oak Creek Fire Rescue Chief Chuck Wisecup expects the two-story fire station to be fully functioning by June, about six months behind schedule.

"There is a lot of interest from this community about this station," he said. "They've been paying taxes on it since the mill levy passed in 2002, so they have wanted to know what the deal is. The fire station was slated for 2005, so we're not that far off."

Wisecup said the plans for the new fire station include a 6,400-square-foot building that will house two bays for fire equipment and living quarters in the second story. Future plans include a third bay and office space.

Right now, volunteers and contractors are looking to complete the main building for the fire station to staff it as soon as possible.

"It will be interesting to see how the two groups (in Stagecoach and Oak Creek) will interact in the future and who will be responsible for what. We're all the same group. We'll all work together and we'll all train together," he said.

Wisecup said he has been keeping an eye on Stagecoach for the past 20 years and that he knew the area would need its own fire station, which is why the board opted to include a new facility in its plans.

"I expected this area to break wide open, and it has. This area has the water infrastructure to support fire hydrants, so we decided to build one out here," he said.

Wisecup said the mill levy has raised about $260,000 for the project.

The fire station was part of a general capital improvement plan the Oak Creek Fire Protection District Board drew up several years ago.

Wisecup has trucks and manpower ready to put to work in Stagecoach.

"There's a lot happening out here. This fire station has been a long time coming," he said.

In addition to the convenience of having another fire station in the district, Wisecup said, homeowners might notice a change in their insurance rates once the fire station is built.

"People out (in Stagecoach) on average are paying two to three times more for homeowners insurance than people elsewhere, because they live so far from a station," he said.

Most insurance policies require home--owners to live within five road miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant to qualify for less expensive insurance.

"Once we get a truck out here, I think people are going to see their insurance rates drop," he said.

Wisecup said the Stagecoach fire station is being built using similar plans to the North Routt Fire Protection District's stations, except for the design.

Wisecup said he originally planned to stucco the entire building, but has changed his mind.

"I think the front of the building will be similar to the Dovetail building. I love what they've done with that," he said, referring to the Dovetail Designs building on Main Street in Oak Creek.

The building has a contemporary feel.

The sides of the building will be made of stucco he said, so future construction of the station will be easier.

Wisecup said he does not expect the weather to deter the construction and that completion of the fire station will be swift.

With the planned landscape and the exterior design, Wisecup said the Stagecoach fire station would be a nice addition to the community.

"It's going to be a really nice facility," he said.

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