Fire Engine and Vehicle Replacement Fund: La Honda Fire Brigade

Important note: The following recommendation was approved by the Board of Supervisors on June 18, 2013 (subsequent reports are attached below):
 
From: John L. Maltbie, County Manager
 
Subject: Measure A County Fire Vehicle Replacement Fund
 
RECOMMENDATION:
Direct staff to appropriate $3.5 million in the FY 2013-15 budget to establish a County Fire Vehicle Replacement Fund.
 
BACKGROUND:
County Fire provides fire protection and emergency response services to the unincorporated areas of the County. The County Fire system includes four stations staffed through a contract with CALFIRE and three volunteer companies.
 
The County stations are located in Pescadero, Skylonda, Cordilleras and on Tower Road. These stations and the engines and emergency response vehicles at these stations are owned by the County.  The volunteer departments are in Loma Mar, La Honda and Kings Mountain. The volunteer departments own their vehicles, but historically, the County has contributed to the purchase of the volunteer’s apparatus. In addition to the County Fire engines, during fire season, CALFIRE has state fire engines and their associated staff based at the Tower Road, Skylonda and Pescadero County Fire stations.
 
Many of the vehicles in the County Fire and volunteer company fleets are older than the recommended replacement age. The average age of the County fire fleet is 16 years, with the water tenders averaging 27 years. To evaluate apparatus need and develop a replacement plan for the aging County fire fleet, County Fire has established an apparatus committee. Their report will be completed later this year. But there is an immediate need for three new vehicles. A water tender that is over 35 years old needs to be replaced as do two fire engines that are over twenty years old.
 
DISCUSSION:
An initial contribution of $2 million in Measure A money is recommended in FY 2013/14 to establish a County Fire vehicle replacement fund. That amount will cover the estimated costs of the three vehicles needing immediate replacement plus the associated equipment for those vehicles. It is recommended that a placeholder of $1.5 million in Measure A funds be allocated in FY 2014/15 to continue the fleet replacement process. When the County Fire fleet plan is complete, which we expect to be prior to the final budget hearings in September, this placeholder will be updated with an actual amount based on specific recommended purchases. It is further recommended that County Fire report back annually to your Board on the status of the fire fleet and the equipment replacement effort.
 
The fleet replacement fund will allow County Fire to start replacing the oldest vehicles this upcoming fiscal year and start implementing their phased replacement plan in the second budget year. Establishing the fund is a step toward significantly reducing the average age of the County Fire fleet. Over time it will also lead to reductions in fleet maintenance costs and provide fire and emergency response vehicles that can be used for the next 10 to 25 years by County Fire staff.
 
FISCAL IMPACT:
Creation of a County Fire Vehicle Replacement Fund with an initial Measure A contribution of $2 million in FY 2013/14 and a contribution of $1.5 million in FY 2014/15 will have no impact on the County General Fund. The total two-year Measure A request is $3.5 million.
 
Measure A Funds recommended in this Report:
 
Proposal FY 2013/14 FY 2014/15

County Fire Engine and Vehicle Replacement Fund

$2,000,000 $1,500,000

Important note: This is a copy of the official report -- item 6C on the Board's agenda.

 

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