North Sonoma Coast Fire Protection District:
|We are very happy to report that on December 8, the BOS approved our tax exchange agreement, and on December 9, Sonoma County LAFCO unanimously approved the request for formation of the North Sonoma Coast Fire Protection District! There are still steps to work through, a required period for protests will commence, the BOS has to officially accept LAFCO's recommendation, and so on, but we anticipate no issues there; these were the big hurdles. There is of course work ahead to get the logistics and operations and finances and board and such for the new district set up and ready to roll...and those will be exciting, and enjoyable tasks. The date of actual district formation is currently targeted for April 1, 2016.
But for today, Hooray!! This has been made possible by years of effort by many dedicated people. As always we thank everyone for their support and encouragement through this process. .
|BACKGROUND: Currently, fire protection in the Sea Ranch / Annapolis / Stewart’s Point area is provided by The Sea Ranch Volunteer Fire Department (TSRVFD), the Annapolis Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD), and CALFIRE. All funds supporting these operations are from your property taxes, which are currently transferred to Sonoma County Service Area #40 (CSA40). CSA40 in turn contracts with TSRVFD, AVFD, and CALFIRE to provide fire protection.
Surrounded by solvent and efficiently run independent fire districts in Timber Cove, Gualala and Point Arena, our area stands out as the only north coast community not in control of their own destiny (and money).
The service provided by our volunteer and career firefighters is excellent, but the funding mechanism currently in place is not sustainable. For some years, the amount returned from the county (after subtracting their costs) has been less than the costs to contract with CALFIRE, fund the operations of the volunteer fire departments and maintain minimal reserves. If this trend continues, something must change; higher taxes, or changed service. We want to prevent that problem before it occurs.
How do we propose to keep us sustainable in the coming years? We separate from the County Fire Services (CSA40), forming an independent local fire district that contracts directly with CALFIRE and funds our volunteer fire departments.
Why are we forming an independent district? To help insure the sustainability of fire protection in our communities by:
The district formation does not create any new taxes.
Despite the challenges of forming a district, the risks for not doing so are even greater.