Tuesday May 01 2012
Granite Bay will not lose fire station
By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
The South Placer Fire District Board of Supervisors elected to not close one of five remaining fire houses in Granite Bay at its April meeting. Tony Corado, fire chief for the South Placer Fire District, said declining property taxes has severely affected district funding over the past several years. One of the ways the district planned to save money was to close a station and consolidate fire crews, Corado said. ?We don?t see any relief in the declining property tax revenues,? Corado said. ?We obviously need to continue to cut costs.? Corado said while the board elected to not close a fire station, it also offered no other direction as to where to cut costs. ?There?s only one place that can come from now,? he said. ?They are going to have to cut people.? Kelly Moretti, captain with the South Placer Fire District and president of the local union for the South Placer Firefighters Association, said the district has already cut 19 positions in the last three years and future cuts likely won?t come from personnel. ?We?re already down to the minimum staffing that the board has approved,? Moretti said. ?So we?re not going to do any layoffs.? Lawrence Bettencourt, deputy chief with the South Placer Fire District, said the district is still in the process of putting together a budget for next year and right now, revenue projections are not yet clear. ?They elected to put off closing a station until we get a better picture of this year?s budget, and next year?s,? Bettencourt said. ?It?s kind of a tough time. You?re trying to put a preliminary budget together, but you don?t really know the numbers yet.? Moretti said closing a fire station would have been a good thing for the community in that the remaining four stations would have been staffed with more firefighters. The district currently operates with four two-person companies and one three-person company, he said. ?The key is obtaining more three-person companies,? Moretti said. ?Right now that would have to mean consolidating crews.? Bettencourt said the district will have a better view of revenue projections in August when it receives its next tax draw. ?In the last couple years, we?ve gotten even less than we anticipated,? Bettencourt said. ?We?re hoping this year to get all that we expect, which is still a reduced amount.? Toby Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.