News Alert!!: Needles, CA: Public hearing discussing fire services options for the community on Tuesday.

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News Alert!!: Needles, CA: Public hearing discussing fire services options for the community on Tuesday.

A public hearing to discuss fire services options for the community of Needles, California will be held during the Needles City Council Meeting at 6:00pm PT on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 inside the Needles City Council Chambers located on the 1700 block of J Street near the Needles Recreation Center and Bailey Avenue in Needles, California.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department notified the City of Needles that the cost for the San Bernardino County Fire Department to provide fire services to the City of Needles will increase $600,000 in fiscal year 2015-16 to $1,224,902.

During the Needles City Council Meeting on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015, members of the Needles City Council discussed fire services options for Fiscal Year 2016 to 2017 and ordered a public hearing to give the community of Needles, California an opportunity to comment on this matter.

** More information from the Needles City Council Meeting on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 regarding fire services options as well as the PowerPoint presentation packet and ZachNews interviews with San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief John Chamberlain and with Needles City Manager Rick Daniels at the following ZachNews on WordPress website address: **

http://wp.me/p26goG-5El

According to the San Bernardino County Fire Department, because the demand is so high for professional firefighters, they are able to go from the academy to a job, and the mainly demographic here at work is baby boomers are retiring and some of those are firefighters.

According to the agenda item document packet from the City of Needles, on Monday, January 5th, 2015, the Fire Chief of the San Bernardino County Fire Department delivered a letter to the Needles City Manager notifying the City that the annual fire services rate would increase $600,000 for the upcoming year to a total of $1.224 million dollars.

For fiscal year 2014-15, the San Bernardino County Fire Department was charging the City of Needles $620,000 fire services.

A information in a report to the City of Needles identifies 4 options available to the City of Needles and provides some basic information on each, and upon receiving that information, members of the Needles City Council directed the Needles City Manager to investigate fire services options.

According to the Needles City Manager Rick Daniels, there is at lease 4 options on the table for possible decision and they are either to extend the current contract, annex into the fire district, seed an alternative provider, or establish a City of Needles’s own fire department.

Requested action is for members of the Needles City Council receive the report and utilize the next Needles City Council Meeting to review the options, seek public input, and provide direction for the budget preparation and any other implementation measures.

** Read the full agenda item #8 packet regarding fire services options at the following City of Needles website address: **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2015_WEBSITE_FILE_POSTING/1_CITY_COUNCIL_NPUA_SARDA/5_MAY/MTG_1/cc_051215-8.pdf

According to the City of Needles, the City of Needles is mandated by California state law to provide fire services within its boundaries, and since 2004, the City of Needles has met that requirement by contracting with the San Bernardino County Fire Department. Prior to that the City of Needles operated its own Fire Department with a Fire Chief and P.C.F.s and volunteers. The San Bernardino County Fire Department provides 24 hour a day, 7 days a week fire services by assigning 6 firefighters and portions of 4 administrative staff to the City of Needles owned Fire Station 31 located at 633 Front Street in Downtown Needles, California. The San Bernardino County Fire Department operates the City of Needles provided equipment such as the fire engines, water tender, utility truck, and miscellaneous pieces of equipment, and the fire department equipment is responsible under the current contract for its replacement.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department serves from the fire station in Downtown Needles, California the unincorporated areas around Needles, California stretching south on U.S. 95 (Highway 95) to the Highway 62 and up to the Riverside County, California line and west along Interstate 40 to Amboy, California, and in 2014, the San Bernardino County Fire Department responded to 1011 calls in the City of Needles of which 777 were rescue and emergency medical service incidents.

Members of the Needles City Council will be also voting on an amendment with the San Bernardino County Fire Department for a one year extension.

According to the City of Needles, agenda item #7 is to approve amendment 2 to contract 04-1235-A2 with the San Bernardino County Fire Department for a one year extension.

** Read the full agenda item #7 packet regarding an amendment with the San Bernardino County Fire Department for a one year extension at the following City of Needles website address: **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2015_WEBSITE_FILE_POSTING/1_CITY_COUNCIL_NPUA_SARDA/5_MAY/MTG_1/cc_051215-7.pdf

According to information from the agenda item packet from the City of Needles, the existing contract for fire services with the San Bernardino Fire Department expires on Monday, June 1st, 2015. The City Council is considering fire service options. Implementation of any of the options under consideration will require longer than the three weeks remaining under the current service contract. In order to avoid a gap in service San Bernardino County Fire Department has proposed a one year extension of the existing contract at a rate of 612,451 to allow the City to choose the preferred option and provide time for its implementation. The rate for the current year is 620,000. Fire services would continue to be provided from the existing City Fire Station and would utilize the City’s existing fire equipment. As for the fiscal impact, $612,451 expenditure from the General Fund.

Requested action is for members of the Needles City Council is to approve the one year fire services contract extension.

For more information regarding the Needles City Council Meetings, please contact Dale Jones in the City Clerk’s Office at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 345.

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