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Downtown Auburn Welcome Center opens, then closes

Fire safety requirements still need to be completed
By: Journal Staff Report
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Downtown Auburn Welcome Center opens, then closes Fire safety requirements still need to be completed A move by the California Welcome Center and Placer County Visitors Center to Downtown Auburn has been put on hold by a fire-alarm requirement that still needs to be completed. The center was open for a short time Monday at its new High Street address, just off Downtown Auburn’s Central Square. But a sign on the window Tuesday is telling visitors that the city of Auburn-owned building is closed. “Sorry for the inconvenience,” the sign states. “At the request of the Auburn fire marshal, offices are closed until further notice.” Auburn Fire Chief Mark D’Ambrogi said he will be meeting with Jan Decker, CEO of the Visitors Bureau, to determine what the non-profit organization’s plans are. Options include bringing the system now in the building online and providing an alarm to a private firm in the event of fire. Another option would be to install a new system, D’Ambrogi said. The visitors bureau moved from a Foresthill-exit building over the weekend. The city is providing the building – a former fire-engine station – for $1 a year. It has worked for much of the year to stanch a water flow inside the structure, which was built in the 1930s and recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The chief said the delay in opening is not unusual. “They’re in the process of remodeling and there are a few things they haven’t achieved,” D’Ambrogi said. “It’s typical for new construction.” In the case of the High Street building, it’s old enough not to require sprinklers but because of that, needs an alarm system to a third-party fire-security business, he said. Decker was not available by phone Tuesday. – Gus Thomson