The tremendous firefighters in our valley deserve the most state-of-the-art facilities and equipment available to provide the residents and businesses of our community with the most up-to-date fire protection possible.

In the execution of a new “Ketchum Fire Station Safety Facility,” its chosen location should above all be “safe.”

Out of 22 sites surveyed, two identical-size lots in the industrial zone stood out! According to the Ketchum fire chief, “access from the Lewis Street location would be ideal.” However, a city councilman-labeled “B-minus location” was ultimately approved in a 3-1 council vote.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is currently pondering green walls and tree implementation during the design and review process at that location. All of this has taken place prior to a single “traffic safety study” ever being executed to assess “vehicle and pedestrian hazards” in any of the qualifying locations. Residing in the Warm Springs corridor for the last 35 years, I have travelled Warm Springs Road two to ten times daily. With that experience, I have created my own assessment of the proposed fire station location.

The immediate vicinity affected by the proposed fire station location comprises three left-hand turn lanes, five crosswalks, two bike path routes and two bus stops, servicing up to 10 stops per hour. Currently, the YMCA parking lot quadruples its function by also accommodating the skateboard park, Rotary Park and ski park-and-ride, all of which require the use of the existing crosswalks.

Vehicle and pedestrian conflicts already exist at the confluence of these intersections, with multiple activities at the Church of the Big Wood, YMCA, skate park and Rotary Park. Any one of these items would present concern. The combination of all coupled with a new fire station is ludicrous!

In conclusion, the new Ketchum fire station must be a safe A-plus addition to the community, not a B-minus compromise and an accident waiting to happen.

David Hurd, Ketchum

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