By Daniel Borsuk
At their weekly meeting on Tuesday, Contra Costa County Supervisors negatively responded to the county grand jury report “Funding the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.”
Concerning the report’s finding:
“The county does not always require that developers of residential and commercial properties establish Community Facility Districts,” the supervisors’ response was “agree.”
The supervisors’ recommendation was California Penal Code Section 9333.05(b) requires a response to the designated recommendations of the Grand Jury.
But regarding the Grand Jury’s finding:
“The county should consider adopting a policy to collect impact fees from all developers of residential and commercial property to fund capital improvements that will be needed to open future stations,” the supervisors’ response was negative.
“The recommendation will not be implemented because it is not warranted,” the supervisors’ response stated. “The ECCFPD continues to have financial difficulties, which prevent staffing current stations within the District. Imposing a policy requiring developers to contribute fees for the construction of additional stations does not seem reasonable at this time. The county has imposed impact fees on developers specifically for the construction of ECCFPD fire stations in the past and would revisit such a policy in the future should District revenues support the ongoing staffing costs of new stations.”
On the Grand Jury’s finding, “The County should consider adopting a policy to enter into agreements with all developers to establish Community Facility Districts to provide operating revenue to ECCFPD,” the supervisors’ response was also negative.
“The recommendation will not be implemented because it is not warranted,” the supervisors’ response stated. “The ECCFPD is a governmental entity that has the power to levy taxes and assessments as needed, subject to a vote of the People. The District may, by resolution, establish Service Zones pursuant to Health and Safety Code & 13950 to, inter alia, “…raise additional revenues within specific areas of the District.” The Service Zones are administered by the District Board of Directors, who responsible for setting service levels throughout the District. This model would be more appropriate than developing Community Facility Districts administered by the County, which does not have the responsibility of setting service levels within the District, and is contemplated as part of the Fire Protection District Law of 1987 (commencing with Health and Safety Code & 13800).”