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Location: Station 51
Attendees: Commissioners Mike Reis, Neil Anderson, Aaron Wilson, and Fire Chief Mike O'Connor
Comm. Wilson called the meeting to order at Station 51 at 1900 HRS
  1. Roll Call
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Approval of the Agenda: Agenda was given the required posting on front door at Station 51 on January 18th. Comm. Anderson motioned, and Comm. Reis seconded. Motion carried.
  4. Public Comment: None
  5. Reports:
    1. Call Report: Fire Chief pointed out there were three (3) months worth of call statistics in the packet. November and December did not have BOC meetings due to holidays. He mentioned that it was noteworthy that 2023 ended with MFPD having a higher call volume than ever previously had.
    2. Budget Report: Fire Chief explained the budget should show about 50% spent, any column showing a larger number is running high. There was a discussion about the 61% of the budget spent for extra help.

      Chief O’Connor explained that the large expenditure of $735,592.00 was due to the FEMA grant process; those funds were replaced with the grant money when it was received by MFPD. He placed the reimbursement money into state’s grant revenue line of the budget.
    3. Board Member Reports: None
    4. Fire Chief Reports:
      • Chief stated that he had a meeting with the Officers. It is being requested that Utility 52 needs to be replaced. The electrical system is problematic and no apparent reason can be determined.
      • Engine 52 is still in the shop.
      • Money was spent at Sta 52 to repair the heaters.
      • An antennae tower was donated and will be installed soon at Sta 52. Antennae for the new radios will be placed on the tower.
      • Tomorrow is a physical agility for Volunteer applicants. Orals were done last week.
      • Engineer Awender and Capt. Cain updated the training book to implement with the new recruits.
  6. Approval of Minutes: Comm. Reis motioned to approve October minutes Comm. Anderson seconded. Motion carried.
  7. Approval of Vendor Claims: Chief clarified that October vendor claims totaled about $60K, November’s totaled about $54K, December’s totaled about $65K. December’s included payout for volunteer stipends, requested vacation payouts, uniforms allowances. Comm. Wilson motioned to approve the vendor claims, Comm. Anderson seconded. Motion carried.
  8. Old Business: None
  9. New Business:
    1. Surplus Old Radios: The new radios from the grant have been installed. The old radios have been taken out. There are approx. 15 radios that could be placed in surplus status, which can be sold or given to other agencies as needed.
      1. Comm. Anderson motioned to surplus the old radios, Comm. Reis seconded. Motion carried.
    2. Joint Exercise Powers Agreement: Chief explained that CA has legislation allowing fire agencies to contract ambulance service directly. This enables the agency to realize a 20%-30% increase from Medical/Medicare/other billings over the amount that a private ambulance company receives. Chief O’Connor explained that he attempted to have some of the additional revenue be given to Montezuma, and found that it would not be allowed due to Montezuma not being ALS. However, he was later contacted and told that training and equipment could be provided for Montezuma personnel with the new funds. The training will be advanced but not to the level of ALS; and the equipment will be to standardize equipment across the agencies.
      1. Comm. Anderson motioned to approve the agreement, Comm. Reis seconded. Motion carried.
    3. Future Fees: Chief stated that he had a talk with the representative of the new county development – California Forever – about impact fees to MFPD for equipment and new station; these are not to be used for personnel. The IMPACT FEES are necessary due to the impact that a new development will have on the Fire District. Fee amounts will be determined by a third-party – a consulting agency.

      He also explained that MFPD has no FEE SCHEDULE for services, that the other districts do charge fees, and that it is time for Montezuma to begin charging fees. He also explained that fees for services would be determined on what costs the District incurs while performing that specific service. Comm. Wilson asked what the Board would need to do to begin bringing about the adoption of a fee schedule, to which Chief replied that the Board would simply need to direct (himself) to do it.

      1. Comm. Wilson and Comm. Reis directed Chief O’Connor to develop a fee schedule and present it to the Board as soon as possible. Chief thought he would have it available for the March BOC meeting.
      2. Additional Information: Chief O’Connor informed the Board that California Forever will not be immediately establishing their own fire department and will be contracting fire protection services from the local agency, which is Montezuma. Chief said that during his first meeting with California Forever he gave an outline of his requirements. These requirements include that at least one fire house be in service prior to any developing beginning. He did concede that a temporary facility may be used while the permanent firehouse is being constructed, thereby allowing their other developments to begin sooner.
    4. Reserve Fire Fighter Program: Capt Cain spoke about the need for Volunteer Fire Fighters at MFPD, and that it was very difficult to find people who want to volunteer. A slide presentation was presented to the Board by Capt. Cain and Eng. Awender. In the presentation was information about three (3) possible avenues to pursue to enable Montezuma Fire to continue attracting people. The options discussed were: beginning a Reserve Fire Fighter program, having Fire Fighter internship at Montezuma, and the Fire Explorer program. An extensive discussion ensued about different aspects of these programs, and specifically how these developments would fit into MFPD. Capt Cain and Eng Awender answered many questions.
      1. Comm Anderson motioned for approval of 3 recruits at an offering of $50 daily stipend, Comm Wilson seconded. Motion carried. This will not be applicable to Fire Explorers
  10. Adjournment: Comm. Wilson motioned to adjourn, Comm. Anderson seconded. Meeting adjourned at 2020 hours.