Farmersville funds new fire patrol
Firefighters filed into City Council chambers last week in support of a new patrol vehicle for the Farmersville Fire Department.
Their presence, as well as a presentation by Police Chief Mario Krstic and Tulare County Fire Division Chief John Crivello was enough to convince the City Council of the need for a new vehicle. The council voted 4-0 at its Nov. 26 meeting to approve the use of $120,000 in impact fees to purchase the new vehicle. Councilmember Mike Santana was absent.
The City’s fire department was seeking the approval of the council to use money generated by development impact fees that can only be spent on the Farmersville Fire Department. The fees are charged on new developments to offset the cost associated with providing public safety, utilities, road maintenance and other city services to those new residents. The Department was looking to replace the patrol vehicle or light engine vehicle that has been in service since 1988.
Chief Krstic brought the proposal to the council pointing out that the light engine vehicle would handle 80 to 90% of the work load taking the burden from the bigger truck and ladder engine.
Mayor Rowlett said that since the impact fees had to be spent on the fire department he was in favor of the purchase.
“If the money could be used elsewhere,” said Rowlett, “we would have to look at other things going on in the City like the loss of employees and staff.”
Rowlett also made a comment about how young some of the firefighters looked.
“I bet we could just give them some buckets and they could put out fires,” said Rowlett.
Krstic responded, “Having watched these guys work, they would do that if they had to.”
Tulare County Fire Division Chief John Crivello also attended the meeting in support of the purchase.
“This would be the best use of the impact fees,” said Crivello. “You could run the wheels off the smaller vehicle and save the wear and tear on the bigger apparatus which would be a lot more expensive to replace.”
Boyer proposed the possibility of purchasing a used vehicle.
“When you purchase a used vehicle,” said Krstic, “you are buying the problems that some other department is getting rid of.”
The council also voted to consider adopting changes to the zoning ordinance to recognize massage therapy businesses. The City currently does not have an ordinance to regulate such businesses and a business license for such an establishment has been submitted to the City.
Krstic said, “Bigger cities are starting to make regulations so these businesses are fleeing to the smaller communities. Many may be legit, such as, day spas and places for physical therapy, but many have illicit activity. We need to be ahead of the game and get regulations in place.”
The council voted unanimously to have an ordinance written up by the city attorney to be reviewed at a later meeting.
In other business:
* The council gave the City Manager the authority to sign necessary documents with Tulare County and Cal Trans concerning possible road development.
*Voted to accept the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) document concerning the treatment waste water plant. The document stated that no Kit Foxes were found on the proposed expansion site and if artifacts were found on the proposed expansion site that construction would be halted until the matter could be resolved.
* The council approved the Comprehensive Infrastructure Master Plan.