County Manager’s Office
February 23, 2009
BOARD MEETING DATE:
March 3, 2009
Honorable Board of Supervisors
David S. Boesch, County Manager
Amendment to the Agreement with California Department of Forestry for Fire Protection Services
Adopt a Resolution authorizing execution of an amendment to the agreement with California Department of Forestry (CAL FIRE) to provide fire protection services for the term of July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2009, and to increase the County’s maximum fiscal obligation by $7,261,753, for a new total county fiscal obligation of $21,460,861.
Commitment: Ensure basic health and safety for all.
Goal 7: Maintain and enhance the public safety of all residents and visitors.
The Agreement contributes to this commitment and goal by providing comprehensive fire and rescue services for the unincorporated lands of the County.
Percent of fire and EMS calls responded to within time criteria
Number of fire related deaths and injuries
Since 1962, the County has contracted with CAL FIRE to provide fire protection services in County Service Area #1 (CSA #1) and other unincorporated areas of the County not protected by cities or fire districts. In addition to fire and emergency medical services, CAL FIRE provides fire protection planning for new construction, fire prevention activities and life safety inspection in the County areas. CAL FIRE also oversees the operations of three volunteer fire companies.
The proposed Amendment will provide for the continued, uninterrupted provision of fire protection services that have been provided under contract since 1962. In FY 2006-07 the County and CAL FIRE entered into a three-year agreement requiring that the annual state cost estimates are provided at the mid-year, resulting in fiscal adjustments that are presented annually to the Board for approval once received.
Because CAL FIRE contracts with multiple jurisdictions, CAL FIRE requires all contracting jurisdictions to sign the standard State-issued contract form. CAL FIRE does provide equal benefits to its employees and also follows a strict non-discrimination policy aligned with the County’s non-discrimination language. However, a waiver request of equal benefits and non-discrimination language has been submitted and approved by the County Manager’s Office since the standard CAL FIRE agreement lacks the County’s enforcement language. County Counsel has reviewed and approved the Resolution and Agreement as to form.
This contract includes $7,261,753 for personnel services (Schedule A). In addition, the County budgets $935,203 for other operational costs, including maintenance of vehicles and fuel, supplies and fixed asset costs for fire protection services (Schedule C), which are directly paid by the County to individual vendors.
The total amount of the County’s fiscal obligation to CAL FIRE for FY 2008-09 is not to exceed $7,261,753, which covers personnel costs. The increase over last year’s contract amount of $7,099,554 is $162,199 or 2.3%, primarily due to the addition of an Assistant Chief to support day-to-day operations. The contract is funded by property tax revenue in the Structural Fire Fund for fire protection services provided to properties in unincorporated area that are not in another fire protection district, as well as property and special tax revenue for fire protection services provided to County Service Area #1, which is a special district that includes the San Mateo Highlands. Due to an ongoing operating deficit in the Structural Fire Fund, the General Fund has provided a $915,000 subsidy in FY 2008-09. The Board Finance and Operations Committee is currently exploring alternatives to eliminate this General Fund subsidy and to set aside funds for vehicle and fire station replacement.