Olivehurst Fire will service Summerfield subdivision
Residents in a Yuba County neighborhood will still have emergency response service as of today, with a plan for Olivehurst Fire to be the primary agency for such services all but finalized.
For residents in the Summerfield subdivision east of Olivehurst and south of McGowan Parkway, the pending service change means not only continued peace of mind, but a slight bump for the pocketbook, too.
Next Wednesday, the Yuba County Local Agency Formation Commission is set to vote on detaching the subdivision from the Wheatland Fire Authority and assigning it to the Olivehurst Public Utility District, which already provides other services to Summerfield residents.
Under an agreement set to expire today, emergency response service for Summerfield could come from either Olivehurst Fire or the Plumas-Brophy fire station, which is operated by the Wheatland Fire Authority.
OPUD General Manager Tim Shaw said, in essence, Summerfield residents were paying more for fire service than others, and because of the mutual-aid agreement, were also receiving more service than other Olivehurst Fire rate payers.
"I think it's worked out pretty well," said Shaw, who said if the LAFCO board votes to assign fire service solely to Olivehurst Fire, Summerfield residents will also see a $50 annual assessment for Wheatland fire service disappear.
They also wouldn't be paying anything more than they do now to Olivehurst Fire, which has cut back on services because of its own funding issues in recent years.
Chief Joe Waggershauser of the Wheatland Fire Authority said he also sees the solution as workable for all.
"They should notice no difference," he said of Summerfield residents. "I think it just took a while to work through."
In another letter sent to LAFCO this week, Shaw requested the commission waive fees associated with the detachment, an amount Shaw said was about $3,000.
"We'd rather spend $3,000 providing fire protection than on LAFCO fees," he said, adding he understood the fees are sometimes necessary.
Yuba County LAFCO Executive Officer John Benoit said while the commission will ultimately decide, he would support the waiver.
"It's not every case where we'd recommend that," he said. "We just need to clean this up."
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at email@example.com or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.