City looks into bid for county fire service

first_imgLa Habra Heights will have to pay the county $3,500 as part of an agreement the council and county Board of Supervisors both must approve before the county will provide a formal bid. The three council members who voted to seek the bid said all they want to do is get more information to help them make a decision on where they should build a new fire station. “I’m looking for a hard number,” said Councilman Stan Carroll, who was joined in the vote to seek a bid by councilmen Layne Baroldi and Howard Vipperman. “It’s good to get information to add to the public discussion on where we’re going to locate the fire station,” Carroll said. “All we’re asking for is a quote. We’re not signing a contract. It’s just another piece of the puzzle. Carroll and others said they also were following the wishes of the public. Roy Francis, retired firefighter, said that petitions with 150 signatures have been collected in favor of seeking a county bid. LA HABRA HEIGHTS – The City Council has voted 3-2 to find out how much it would cost to contract with Los Angeles County for fire services rather than operate its own fire department. The action in the wee hours Friday came in a meeting that started Thursday night following an informal price of $4.1 million from Mike Dyer, chief deputy for the county Fire Department. For that amount, the county will provide one four-member engine company, and a two-person paramedic squad. The city now spends about $1.2 million for its volunteer fire department. But the two council members – Brian Bergman and Tela Millsap, who voted against seeking a bid, called it a “vote of no-confidence” in the existing fire department and accused the majority of delaying the decision on a new station. “It makes me wonder if it’s a stalling tactic,” Millsap said. Millsap also asked the majority if they would vote to raise taxes if the county bid came in significantly higher than what the city spends now. Carroll and Vipperman denied both charges, saying they support the existing volunteers. They also said there is no way the city would be able to spend more. Vipperman said he also isn’t sure the informal quote is a real price. He cited the fact that the county provides fire service to La Habra, where it has four stations, for nearly $6 million. Fire Chief John Nielsen, said he isn’t certain of the reasons for the difference, but one is that stations in La Habra also cover portions of unincorporated Whittier and La Mirada, allowing for the sharing of costs. But Bergman said he didn’t believe the city could get a lower price, adding the only way it would happen would be with significantly less service. “To think \ will come back at $1.7 million is a pipe dream,” he said. “If I sent an e-mail back with a $4.1 million price and came back with $1.7 million, I’d look like a fool. If it comes back at $1.7 million, you can throw a pie in my face.” [email protected] (562)698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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