Town Council Approves adding the Town of Ross as member of the Ross Valley Fire Department
On May 2, 2012, the Town Council approved amendments to the Ross Valley Fire Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Agreement to expand the JPA to include the Town of Ross. The Town of San Anselmo and the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District must also approve the amendments before Ross may join the JPA. Both governing bodies are expected to take up the matter in the next two weeks.
In January 2011 discussions began with the Town of Ross and the JPA to explore the possibility of merging the Ross Fire Department with the Ross Valley Fire Department. Following these initial discussions and further discussions over the next several months an Ad Hoc Committee was formed in November 2011 between the JPA and the Town of Ross elected officials. Fairfax Council Member David Weinsoff, San Anselmo Council Member Jeff Kroot, and Rich Shortall from Sleepy Hollow were appointed to serve on the Ad Hoc Committee by the JPA. Ross Town Council Members Scot Hunter and Rupert Russell were appointed to the Ad Hoc Committee by the Ross Town Council. After meeting for several months, in January 2012 presentations were made to the Fairfax and San Anselmo town councils on the history of the two departments, the current staffing, the general operations, the advantages of merging the two agencies, and the basic concepts for a JPA expansion. In February 2012, the Town of Ross held two public workshops to discuss the Town of Ross joining the JPA.
In April of 2012 the Fairfax Town Council gave preliminary approval to the concept of adding Ross to the JPA. Adding Ross to the JPA will add a fourth fire station and several fire trucks and other equipment to the JPA. This will result in faster response times to emergencies in most cases and will allow for the more efficient use of staff and resources. The Ross Fire Chief is retiring and his position will not be filled saving the JPA this position on an annual basis. Adding Ross will greatly enhance service and control costs for all the members of the JPA into the long term future. To view the staff report and the First Amendment to the Restated JPA please go to:
Other actions taken at the Town Council January 11, 2012 meeting:
• Re-appointed Holly Bragman to the Volunteer Committee;
• Heard a presentation from James Reilly of Stetson Engineering on the status of the Proposed Draft FEMA Flood Map for the Ross Valley and discussion of the long range flood control plans for the Ross Valley;
• Awarded a construction contract to Fieldstone Construction in the amount of $35,880 for the Oak Manor Sidewalk Project;
• Approved a letter if support for AJR 20 (Huffman), the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries Boundary Modification and Protection Act;
• Adopted a Proclamation declaring National Bike Month in Fairfax and Bike to Work Day on May 10, 2012;
• Adopted Resolution 12-27 in support of adoption of The California Public Utilities Commission Community Opt Out for Wireless Smart Meters;
• Adopted Resolution 12-28 declaring the conditions at 6 San Gabriel Drive a public nuisance and ordered the Town Manager to abate the nuisance within thirty days;
• Set the schedule for Public Workshops on the Draft Fiscal Year 2012/13 Town Budget to be June 20, July 11, and August 1, 2012.
Other notes and announcements:
• Tuesday, May 8th, Poetry Slam, 8 p.m. at Sleeping Lady Café, sponsored by the Fairfax Volunteers
• May 19th Youth Rock Concert in Peri Park, sponsored by the Youth Commission
• Fairfax Food Pantry – Saturdays 9-11 at the Fairfax Community Church, 2398 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, volunteers needed
• Vacancy on the Fairfax Youth Commission for Ross Valley youth between 14 and 19 years of age
• Vacancy for a Youth Commissioner to serve on the Parks and Recreation Commission for a 2-year term
• Vacancy for the Fairfax Representative to the Marin Commission on Aging, effective July 1, 2012
• Vacancy on the Volunteer Board for a full three-year term to May 31, 2015
• Vacancy for a Community Member to serve on the General Plan Implementation Committee
• Seven terms on the Open Space Committee expiring June 30th
• Fairfax Open Space Committee's “Give Back Tuesday” fundraiser at Iron Springs Pub & Brewery on June 12th, 4 to 10 p.m.
• “Bike to Work Day” on Thursday, May 10, 2012
The next Town Council meeting will be an adjourned meeting on May 16, 2012 at 7:00 PM at the Women’s Club.