BOULDER CREEK -- Firefighters with the Boulder Creek Fire Protection District are working out details of an expansion plan, after the purchase of two parcels adjacent to its downtown location, including one that houses a Century 21 real estate office.

Escrow on the property closed last week, and the district paid $404,000 for the 12,197 square feet using funds from its apparatus reserve fund, according to Kevin McClish, fire chief of the 40-member, all-volunteer crew. The real estate deal was "something that kind of fell in our laps, and not something we were planning on doing," he said of the negotiations, which began about a year ago.

"We didn't really have a plan for the building, and we still don't, but it was just offered to us and we couldn't pass it up," he said.

Five firefighters live full time in the upstairs area of the fire department off Highway 9, performing various maintenance duties in lieu of rent. But the area is cramped, with only a couple of feet in between the beds, offering little in the way of privacy.

The rear area of the living quarters also houses a workout area, and the district plans to move the gym equipment to a 550-square-foot area behind Century 21, and lease out the rest. Century 21 will have a five-year lease, paying $1,551 each month. McClish estimated the move will be complete by April, but it depends on how quickly the planning process goes.

"We're all very excited about it and we think it's a good decision for the fire district," said Robert Locatelli, one of the district's five board members.


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AT A GLANCE

Fire district buys two lots


WHAT: Boulder Creek Fire Protection District has purchased two lots totaling 12,197 square feet next to its administration building at 13230 Highway 9.
FUTURE PLANS: The district will move gym equipment out of the living quarters into the rear area of the Century 21 office, then lease out the rest of the space.
WHEN: Move expected to be complete by April.
COST: $404,000, with those funds taken out of its apparatus reserve fund.


SOURCE: Kevin McClish, fire district chief