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It’s becoming real; it looks as if Salida will get a new fire station, if everything lines up. This week it is one step closer.

On July 21, 2023, Mayor Dan Shore was notified by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) that the city has been awarded a grant in the amount of $1,000,000 from the state’s Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Fund to assist with the construction of the new Salida Fire Station.

Preliminary Concept, New Salida Fire Station, 611 Oak Street façade. Image courtesy Neenan Archistruction

Over the past 12 months, the City has been working with Neenan Archistruction, an integrated design and construction firm. In a collaborative approach, City and Fire Department staff met weekly with the architecture, design, interiors, engineering, preconstruction, and project management team. The resulting 21,000 SF facility is a unique solution to meet the specific needs of the firefighters and community.

“Competition for these funds is intense,” said Salida Fire Chief Doug Bess. “This was a great team effort, and we are excited to see the fire station come to fruition.”

The Department of Local Affairs’ Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Fund program was created to assist political subdivisions that are socially and/or economically impacted by the development, processing, or energy conversion of minerals and mineral fuels. Funds are derived from the state severance tax on energy and mineral production and from a portion of the state’s share of royalties paid to the federal government for mining and drilling of minerals and mineral fuels on federally owned land.

Although the final cost has still to be approved by the city council, the press release says “groundbreaking for the new firehouse is scheduled for October, 2023”.

The current Salida Fire Station was built in 1902, with the shortcomings of being 120 years old. When it was built, the population of Salida was around 2,000. The proposed 21,000-square-foot, Salida Fire Station will be located at 611 Oak Street and is being designed to serve the needs of a city growing toward triple the size of 1902. As covered in a preview of the new station design in November, 2022, it was pointed out that this new facility has a dual safety focus; it will house both Salida Fire and the South Arkansas Fire Protection District.