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Four Fire Stations On The Chopping Block on Tuesday

The Board of Supervisors will consider a plan to shutter a Martinez station and three others on Tuesday.

Fire and county officials on Tuesday will consider closing four fire stations, including one in Martinez, to close a budget gap that has been growing since the recession of 2008.

The move is necessary, said Fire Chief Daryl Louder, due to the failure of a proposed parcel tax increase by two-thirds of voters on the Nov. 6 ballot.

In a report to the county Board of Supervisors, Louder said the 2008 recession caused deep reductions in property tax revenue, which primarily funds the fire district. Service levels were maintained until now through the spending of reserves.

To make up for the loss of property tax money, the fire district proposed a $75 per parcel tax in November. Measure Q received a majority of votes but not the two-thirds super majority it needed to pass.

And now “the reserve funds have been expended and the district can no longer afford to maintain current service levels,” Louder said in his report to the board.

Louder said the fire district is already falling short of meeting expected service levels and response times, and the closure of additional stations will only make matters worse. But the move will save the district $3 million.

The four stations proposed to be shuttered are:

  • Fire Station #4 – 700 Hawthorne Drive, Walnut Creek
  • Fire Station #11 – 6500 Center Avenue, Clayton
  • Fire Station #12 – 1240 Shell Avenue, Martinez
  • Fire Station #16 – 4007 Los Arabis Avenue, Lafayette

The four stations are slated to close in early January. Louder said he plans to take some actions, including using the reserve force to provide coverage for closed stations, increasing the number of emergency medical technicians during peak hours, and other efficiencies.

But Louder makes it clear that none of these steps will make up for the presence of the stations in these neighborhoods.

Louder will meet with the Board of Supervisors Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in the board chambers, 651 Pine St., in Martinez.

What are your thoughts about this? Tell us in the comments. 

MIKE ALFORD December 03, 2012 at 07:02 PM
You Know Saying That This Is A Board Of Supervisors Issue ! Is Just plain B.S. ---- Maybe It Hasent Occured To You --- That This Is a Safety Issue That Concerns EVERY CITIZEN In Martinez ---- And if Your Saying That I SHOULDNT CONFUSE ---- The Martinez City Counsel With This Issue ? Than I Might Remind You & EVERYONE ---- To Read The Oath That EVERY ONE of our City Counsel Members Take When They Take Office ! To Protect The Citizens Of Martinez ! This Is One Of Those TIMES ---- No Right Now Its Time For our City Counsel To Do Their JOBs And Protect The Citizens Of Martinez They Owe Us That --- NO EXCUSES ! Protect & Serve The People They Repersent Martinez
Chris J Kapsalis December 03, 2012 at 07:11 PM
People have life savings in their homes. Also can draw emergency money from the equity in their homes if needed. When prop values dove, that emergency/retirement.. money was reduced, also savings in the home. It might seem like they can handle it, but they just lost a lot of money , and now we ask them to flip the bill for all our safety? Maybe on the tax returns it should ask if we want to give $50 to this educational science thing. But something like public safety, health etc. should be on a ballot. And also there needs to be a distinction between health/safety necessities and things we can put off for now maybe. Like science equipment etc.. It is a great thing, but cries wolf with the parcel pool and I think peoples property needs to be exempt from non critical services. I guess I am more a rep. in that way. Also I believe the whole parcel voting/tax is unfair. Old people who may have more money were exempt, and maybe still under prop 13. Also renters do not see a direct loss, so they would more likely vote for it than a homeowner. And other problems. It should only be used for things we absolutely need imo. And I hate to be a smart blank, but if your house catches fire or rescue is delayed, you might rethink voting for the education parcel and not to have kept this fire house open, for now. Prioritize. And again, I voted again the fire parcel tax. Why? because of things like the school districts already taxing that money cow so much.
Chris J Kapsalis December 03, 2012 at 07:14 PM
"older people"
Cheryll December 04, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Mike: I said it was a GOOD IDEA to involve the City Council. If Lafayette City council cares enough to weigh in heavioy to save one of THIER stations, shouldn't OUR cilty council be so obliged also? Call and let them know that citizens well be well disappointed if we are on our own on this subject,
MIKE ALFORD December 04, 2012 at 08:42 AM
you know I just get tired of hearing them pass the buck -- I remember after 57 years of Martinez supporting Kaiser and being at that City Counsel meeting People Were Scared & Upset That they were pulling out of Martinez takeing our Martinez emergency Room & Sergrey unit and a lot of special services out of Martinez --- Now it was when I first started going to city counsel meetings --- i remember I was Really Shakey getting Up and Talking to the city counsel -- they wouldnt Listen to anyone that had gotten up to speak They Just Said That They Were working on it ! I got up and said that George Miller Could put An Injuction on it and it us more time to save Martinez Emergency (Kaiser) Room they Told Me That I really didnt know what I was talking about and there were channels to go through and Ross,delany & Kennedy Were Going To Take Care Of It --- Than told Me To Sit Down ----- Well The Rest Is History -- And we Know What Happend ---- Now Thats Whats Got Me Worried With This Fire Station RIGHT NOW ------ They Are Going To Pass The Buck ---- Just Like The County Is Going To Do Tomorrow ! ---

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