Community members in eastern Plumas County are invited to attend and take part in a “Panel of Experts, Measures E & F” forum to be held on Tues., September 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Portola Memorial Hall.
This is an opportunity for community members to ask questions and hear from individuals representing various agencies in Plumas County who have the facts and answers to why this effort is critical to long-term sustainable fire and emergency services in eastern Plumas.
This meeting will allow the public a chance to become better informed on the long-awaited measures that will allow registered voters to decide whether to form one unified fire protection district, to be known as Beckwourth Peak Fire Protection District (BPFPD), to serve certain eastern Plumas communities.
What are Measures E and F?
Measures E and F will be on the Nov. 7 ballot for registered voters residing within the boundary of the proposed Beckwourth Peak Fire Protection District to vote upon. Measures E and F pertain to the formation of a new fire protection district in eastern Plumas County and a new special tax to support long-term sustainable services.
The new fire district would be organized from four existing fire protection and emergency medical providers now serving residents, businesses and visitors in the City of Portola, Beckwourth, Gold Mountain/Nakoma, and Sierra Valley. The formation of Beckwourth Peak Fire Protection District creates a “Stronger Together” department that provides for consistency in training and emergency response and operations, its organizers say. The new fire district will respond to fires, medical distress calls, vehicle accidents, hazardous material spills and the many other calls received.
The areas currently served by Eastern Plumas Rural Fire Protection District, including Delleker, Crocker Mountain Estates, Iron Horse and areas around Lake Davis, along with areas served by Graeagle Volunteer Fire Department, are not included under these measures.
Measure E asks if a new, unified fire protection district, called Beckwourth Peak FPD, should be formed to provide emergency medical, rescue, and fire response services in eastern Plumas County. If approved, Measure E will allow Beckwourth Peak FPD to be established with newly designated boundaries to serve the four areas and a single board of directors comprised of registered voters within the boundary of the newly formed fire district.
Measure F asks if a new annual special tax should be collected to provide funding to financially support the new fire protection district. The revenue sourced from the new tax stays with the newly formed Beckwourth Peak FPD, and the monies are controlled by the newly formed fire district board of directors. This new funding source provides for a hybrid fire department of certain paid staff and creates advancement to paid position opportunities for volunteer firefighters. The special tax will also provide a mechanism to create a capital reserve fund to pay for needed fire station upgrades and compliant fire equipment. In addition, a second fund will be established ensuring resources and response services are available for up to eight months in the event of a catastrophic incident.
If Measure F is approved, an annual special tax will be included on residents’ annual property tax bill, with an average estimated cost per household of nine dollars per month, or $110 per year. All existing fire taxes collected by the City of Portola and Beckwourth will be discontinued. Sierra Valley does not have a fire tax currently and Gold Mountain CSD will consider reducing their current special tax while retaining a portion for wildfire related services and expenses.
Both measures must pass to form the new Beckwourth Peak FPD.
For more information, please visit fireprotectplumas.org. To donate, please visit beckwourthpeakfpd.com.