The NSCFPD is a reality! The District became a legal reality on April 1, 2016.
The initial board members were approved by the BOS at their March 8 meeting. The new board members are: Stacy Aitchison, Leigh Mueller, Michael Scott, Don McMahan, and Jim Carruthers. We thank all of the new board members for stepping up for this important work.
This has been made possible by years of effort by many dedicated people. As always we thank everyone for their support and encouragement through this process. .
BACKGROUND: Previously, fire protection in the Sea Ranch / Annapolis / Stewart’s Point area was provided by The Sea Ranch Volunteer Fire Department (TSRVFD), the Annapolis Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD), and CAL FIRE. All funds supporting these operations were from your property taxes, which were transferred to Sonoma County Service Area #40 (CSA40). CSA40 in turn contracted with TSRVFD, AVFD, and CAL FIRE to provide fire protection.
Surrounded by solvent and efficiently run independent fire districts in Timber Cove, Gualala and Point Arena, our area stood out as the only north coast community not in control of their own destiny (and money).
Now, those same property tax funds, including those that used to go to pay for administrative overhead at the county level, go directly to NSCFPD, which in turn funds our contract with CAL FIRE for 24x7 coverage, and the operations of the NSC Volunteer Fire Department.
The service provided by our volunteer and career firefighters has and continues to be excellent, but the funding mechanism that was in place was not sustainable. For some years, the amount returned from the county (after subtracting their costs) was less than the costs to contract with CAL FIRE, fund the operations of the volunteer fire departments and maintain minimal reserves. Something had to change: higher taxes, or changed service. We wanted to prevent that problem before it occured.
Why did we form an independent district? To help insure the sustainability of fire protection in our communities by:
- Keeping more of our local property tax dollars for use here, where they are generated
- Providing local control of those fire protection funds, and our local fire department operations
- To sustain our CALFIRE contract by redirecting dollars that now go to Sonoma County CSA 40.
The district formation did not create any new taxes.
Despite the challenges of forming a district, the risks for not doing so were even greater.
The new district covers the areas previously served by The Sea Ranch and Annapolis Volunteer Fire Departments, with the continued support of CAL FIRE.