U.S. Representative Jared Polis

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Sugar Loaf Fire District Bill Passes House

Polis Successfully Brokers Compromise to Support Local Fire Protection

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Washington, December 16, 2011 | comments

To support the needs of local firefighters and protect area residents and property, the House today passed the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District Land Exchange Act, which was authored by Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill will help the Sugar Loaf Fire District maintain and upgrade the two fire stations serving Sugar Loaf and the other nearby growing communities by exchanging two parcels of land on the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest between the U.S. Forest Service and the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District.

“Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District volunteers are key first responders to both wild-land and residential fires as well as car accidents and health emergencies within the communities and public lands they serve,” said Polis. “This legislation will ensure that these volunteers can continue to protect the lives and property of area residents and provide the Fire District with land that’s better suited to the scenic and recreational needs of the local public lands. I’m proud that we were able to work with Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate to get the job done. Apparently, it takes an act of Congress to build a bathroom for our heroic volunteer firefighters.”

“We in the Sugar Loaf fire district in the hills above Boulder are extremely pleased with the passage by the House of our land exchange bill,” said Chris Rice, chief of the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District. “By exchanging a five-acre property owned by us for the land under our stations, we achieve a win-win situation at no cost to the tax payers.”

The bill will facilitate the exchange of 5.17 acres of private land owned by the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District within National Forest boundaries in return for the approximately 5.08 acres of U.S. Forest Service land, on which two Sugar Loaf Fire District stations are located. This will allow for the building of an area for firefighter training and bathroom facilities.

Polis successfully brokered a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District Land Exchange Act related to how possible proceeds from the land exchange would be directed. This had previously prevented the two bodies from agreeing on a single version of the bill. This compromise should facilitate Senate passage of the House-passed measure so it can be sent to President Obama and signed into law.

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