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South Metro Fire sues Parker for ‘illegally diverting’ funds intended for emergency services

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — South Metro Fire Rescue Fire Protection District filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Parker’s urban renewal authority.

The lawsuit claims the Parker Authority for Reinvestment (PAR) is illegally diverting economic development funds that are intended for fire, rescue and emergency services.

“Parker is siphoning off money that is voter approved for fire protection services,” South Metro Fire Chief Bob Baker said in a statement released Tuesday. “People in Parker shouldn’t have to choose between public safety and economic development.”

“We’ve tried for many years to negotiate an agreement to allow Parker to continue its economic development activities and maintain adequate funding for fire protection, but we’ve hit a wall with Parker and this is our only option at this point,” Chief Baker stated.

According to the statement, South Metro has already lost more than $300,000 in revenue and stands to lose more than $16 million over 25 years.

“This is money that would go to first responders’ needs like equipment for cardiac arrests, thermal imaging cameras to find people in smoke-filled rooms and ballistic vests in high-risk situations,” Baker stated.

The lawsuit was filed in the Douglas County District Court in Castle Rock.