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Fire district says current fees do ‘not come close to addressing’ needs

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Pittsburg FireGodofredo Vasquez/SFBay
The Contra Costa Fire Protection District has requested an approximate 64 percent increase to developer-paid fire facility fees in order to keep up with the district's "overextended condition." County supervisors are expected to vote on the fee increase July 23, 2019 in Martinez, Calif.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors could vote Tuesday to approve a significant increase in the county fire district’s “fire facilities fee”, which county staff contends is needed for firefighting capability to keep up with past and future growth.

The fire facilities fee, as paid by developers on each project, raises money for needed Contra Costa County Fire Protection District capital expenditures associated with serving expanded residential and commercial development within the district.

The current fee – $591 per single-family dwelling unit, $285 per multi-family dwelling unit and $376 per 1,000 square feet of office space “does not come close to addressing the needs of development,” according to a county staff report.

In Sept. 2016, the fire district contracted with Willdan Financial Services to review the existing Fire District Facilities Fees – which had been last adjusted in 2006 – and to determine whether another adjustment to the fees was warranted. Willdan’s July 2017 report concluded a fee increase would be needed to handle the “overextended condition” of the fire district. The new proposed fee, which would be calculated somewhat differently than the current fees, is approximately 64 percent higher than the existing fee.

The fire district provides service to Antioch, Clayton, Concord, Lafayette, Martinez, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, San Pablo, Walnut Creek and the unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County.

Tuesday’s supervisors’ meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. in the board chambers, Room 107, at the county administration building, 651 Pine St., Martinez.

Pittsburg Fire
Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay The Contra Costa Fire Protection District has requested an approximate 64 percent increase to developer-paid fire facility fees in order to keep up with the district’s “overextended condition.” County supervisors are expected to vote on the fee increase July 23, 2019 in Martinez, Calif.

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