Board Votes To Close Four Fire Stations, Including Station 12

Unanimous vote will save $3 million in a district facing a $17 million deficit.

After nearly six hours of testimony Tuesday, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, acting as the Board of Directors of the Contra Costa Fire Protection District, unanimously agreed to shutter four fire stations, including Station 12 on Shell Avenue. 

The closures, scheduled for next month, will save $3 million. The district is facing a $17 million deficit, and has spent its reserves. 

The supervisor's vote comes after voters failed to pass Measure Q, a $75-a-year parcel tax that would have prevented the closure of the stations, in November.

Supervisors heard again from Fire Chief Daryl Louder, who presented further information Tuesday after supervisors delayed a vote on the closure last week. They also heard from residents who urged them to keep the stations opened in their towns. 

Martinez resident Cheryll Grover said that station closures should be based on where the most votes against Measure Q came from. Closing Station 12 in Martinez, at 1240 Shell Ave., would endanger residents living near the Shell refinery, most of whom are in older homes that burn faster, she said. 

"I'm concerned about emergency medical response issues," said Leonard Carp of Walnut Creek, who lives near Station 4. "A lot of people in our area are retired or older."

He joined several other residents in supporting the idea of saving money by reducing the staff of each station to two firefighters instead of the current three.

That was a plan endorsed by several Lafayette residents, including Mayor Mike Anderson, who urged the board to use that city as a test to try the two-person per station model. Station 16 at 4007 Las Aribis Ave., the Lafayette station targeted for closure, has been shuttered since June. Anderson said that it could mean four staff in the other two stations, until Station 16 is reopened. 

Louder and other firefighters balked at the notion of two firefighters per station, saying that it would endanger the crews and reduce response time even more than the four station closure. 

"We have to close stations," Supervisor Federal Glover said. "It's
not what we want to do, and certainly not what any of us signed up to
do...but we have to live within our means and we have to do it in a way we
feel we're go to be able to give the best quality service possible."

Supervisor Karen Mitchoff noted that the Clayton station closure at 6500 Center Ave. would leave that city without a fire station. 

"There is no right solution," she said. "There are those who say we can't afford the current system. I say we can't afford not to have the current system." 

"Frankly, it's been hard to get folks and community members at the table and to participate in solutions," said Supervisor Mary Piepho. "Now everyone wants to solve the problem. It’s been here a lot longer than the last couple of weeks."

"I hope as we go forward that you will consider Lafayette's proposal for a twp-person station," Supervisor Candace Anderson told Louder.

The fire chief reminded the board that, absent new sources of revenue, addtional fire stations will need to be closed in the next few years. 

MIKE ALFORD December 14, 2012 at 01:54 AM
This Cut & Paste Threories ----- Is Just Plain Insainety ! Where Is The COMMAN SENSE That Our Elected Leaders Are Suppose to Be able to See through & deal with comman sense ---- They Are The Ones We Are Suppose to Trust To Protect us from This Kind Of Problem ! THEY LIE & HIDE The Truth And They PANDER To The Big & DEEP Pockets Of Special INTREST GROUPS Like here In Martinez (SIINO, BUSBY, and DUNIVEN) They Are The Ones That Back These People ! And it was Very Clear That GLOVER Is Amoung This Group also ---- See people like myself cant get elected for the plain & simple Fact is We Dont Take Money From Anyone And there for the only people that we listen to would be TAXPAYERS ---- And that Wouldnt Work With The Corruption Your Seeing Run Our System RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU RIGHT NOW !! ---- WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME ANYONE OF OUR LEADERS LISTEN TO YOU THE TAXPAYER ---- WHEN ????
MIKE ALFORD December 14, 2012 at 01:59 AM
HERES --- A News FLASH ---- Cindys ----- Really ----- Linda In Disguise !
Cindy December 14, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Cheryll, I enjoyed our debate. We are both have the same view that there is a problem. Our approach to solving it or coming to terms with it differs but that is what makes for a healthy debate and workable solutions. Unfortunately the problem with our fire stations is a small symptom of a bigger problem. Elected Officials from the Congress down who do not represent those who elect them but pander to those who line their pockets with money, trips and perks. It is much easier for our Big Banks to pay of those folks and be allowed to continue to destroy through fraud our communities and families in the name of greed. We are allowing this country to be run by psychopaths.. we have been brained washed through media into thinking they are leaders. I would recommend checking out "A moment of clarity by Lee Camp. He is very blunt with his messages and they will get you thinking. The strongest force is a group of people who come together to serve the greater good of the people. Cheers
Cheryll December 14, 2012 at 06:33 PM
I can't disagree with that! I will read the material you refer to. I look forward to change that doesn't hurt the little guys, reigns in and fixes what has become the abuses that hurt the systems, whatever those systems are. Thanks.
Cheryll December 14, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Love the Lee Camp website. Funny but interesting!


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