Our New, Improved Fire
Ground was broken on November 18, 2006. On
that date, Washoe County Commissioner Bonnie Weber and
other county officials tossed earth with shovels and fire
tools. Commissioner Bob Larkin chose a "McLeod," a
wildland firefighting tool, showing that there was a time
when he fought fires too.
Once finished, the station was more than
twice its original size, and has room for more fire
trucks, a community meeting room that is available for
neighborhood use, restrooms and other amenities that make
our department more efficient.
The grand opening was June 6, 2009.
The dedication ceremony was October 13,
Silver Lake Fire Station addition/meeting room History
Sometime in 1999, Sierra Pacific Power Company game $500,000
each to 5 communities since their Alturas Power Line was
visible from our communities.The money was given to Washoe
County where it actually accrued interest for a few years.
In Silver Knolls, the Silver Lake Property Owners'
Association was asked to form a committee and to involve the
residents on how they wanted to spend this money. The
original committee was going to ask for a community building
to be built in the park, but when they had a meeting
involving the community, no one seemed too interested in
this plan. At this meeting, John Howe suggested an idea to
add on a bigger building to the fire station to house the
fire apparatus and to turn the old firehouse into a meeting
room. The group also wanted to buy a water tender. This idea
was very well received. The original committee was not happy
with this idea, and Washoe County sent out a ballot with the
two proposals. 50% of the Silver Knolls residents returned
their ballots and 92% of the returned ballots voted for the
Firehouse/Meeting Room. With the results of this
ballot, the Board of County Commissioners voted to go ahead
with this project on January 23, 2001, for $333,000 from the
Alturas power line mitigation funds. $157,000 was to
be used for a water tender bringing the total to $490,000.
Silver Knolls residents have always been very supportive of
their volunteer fire department. A small amount of the
money had already been given away; $4,000 for a picnic
shelter at North Valley Regional Park, $1,000 to the Boy
Scouts for a walking trail around Silver Lake, and $5,000 to
the Swan Lake Study Area.
By November 2002, we had preliminary cost and plans for the
fire station/meeting room addition with Don Jeppson as the
lead county person, I'm not sure when it first went
out to bid, but the bid came in too high. On May 13,
2003, the Washoe County Commissioners voted to allocate
$99,321.57 in unallocated interest money from the Alturas
power line mitigation fund, to the Combined Community
Building / Firehouse Expansion for the Silver Lake Volunteer
Fire Station project. They appointed the City of Reno Fire
Department and the Department of Public Works as joint
project managers for this additional funding. Bob
Lissner of Lifestyle Homes donated 1 acre of additional land
so that we could develop this project.
The project again went out for bid in August 2003 and came
in significantly over budget. The budget at that time was
$432,322. As of 10-9-2003, about $60,317 had been paid to
Dube Architecture Group, $10,650 to Hunter Creek Engineering
and $16,467 in other fees.
On January 13, 2004, the Washoe County Board of
Commissioners approved a recommendation to defer purchase of
the Water Tender, and divert the funds to construction of
the Silver Lake Fire Station & Meeting Room. They
transferred the $157,000 for the Tender plus all accrued
unallocated interest, estimated at $11,778 for a total
project budget of $589,321.
March 2004: Property transfer had been completed. Bids were
opened on March 23rd. These bids came in even higher than
the first bids, due primarily to the dramatic increase in
the price of steel, and contractors' unwillingness to bid
again because of a glut of jobs in the market. We were
offered a metal building, 50 feet by 90 feet. It was felt
that this metal building would save us about $60,000. The
metal building was received in December 2004.
In March, I, as President of the Silver Lake Property
Owners' Association was contacted by Sierra Pacific to
discuss the building of transmission lines on Red Rock Road
for the Tracy-Silver Lake transmission line project. Their
proposal was to put all power, telephone and cable lines
along Red Rock Road underground, and underground to the
homes, with the homeowners permission, if the Silver Lake
Property Owners' Association would agree to the proposal.
The SLPOA Board approved the proposal and Sierra Pacific
gave us $200,000 to add to our firehouse project. The check
was received on April 15, 2005.
In August 2005, Washoe County changed some of their building
codes for metal buildings so there was a long process of
getting new plans from the manufacturer and also a new metal
With a budget of $575,000, the project went out to bid again
July 5, 2006. To the shock of everyone, the lowest bid came
in $365,000 over bid on August 2, 2006. It went before the
Board of County Commissioners on August 22nd. After much
discussion, they decided to delay their vote on our project
and look for the money to complete our project. It was
decided that Silver Knolls had waited long enough. On
September 15th, the Board of County Commissioners, and then
the Board of Fire Commissioners agreed to share the over bid
of $365,000. Michael Del'Ostia became Washoe County project
manager. Ground breaking took place on Saturday, November
18, 2006 at noon.
John and I have stayed very involved in this project from
the beginning to now. We hope that the building will be
completed in the best possible way. We thank everyone for
all their help and concern in this project. I feel that this
truly has a joint project between Silver Knolls residents,
Washoe County, and the combined fire departments.