SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY –The tiny Waterloo-Morada Fire District is banking on the passage of a special election measure on May 7th to keep service levels at what is expected by residents.
The alternative is a continued decline in personnel and longer response times. The passage of measure N would mean a $210 annual increase for a 3,000 square foot structure.
The district has been typical of small special districts which get a small portion of property tax which are restricted under Proposition 13.
Residents last approved a small increase in 1986. Since that time the districts call for service has more than doubled to over 2,250 calls with few firefighters.
In addition to cutting three firefighter positions, it has just one station after closing it’s only other station in 2014.
The cost of replacement fire equipment has also increased dramatically.
The district is currently running on a $400,000 deficit. Fire Chief Steve Henry says for years they’ve cut costs.
“It’s not sustainable,” said Henry.
The first of three public meetings has been scheduled on March 20th to explain the district’s financial conditions and what measure will do.
You can find more information on the district’s website.