By Michael P. Neufeld
Crestline, CA – Crest Forest Fire’s contract with San Bernardino County Fire remains in limbo.
San Bernardino County Fire’s Deputy Chief Dan Odom has informed directors of the struggling district that the county has placed a temporary hold on all service contracts to allow an administrative review. Meanwhile, the Crest Forest Fire Protection District continues to wait for details of the contract option.
However, directors are looking at yet another option to be annexed by County Fire and that wouldn’t require a contract, it would also allow County Fire access to the district’s property tax base.
A special workshop is planned for Friday, February 15, at 5:30 p.m. at the district headquarters, located at 23407 Crest Forest Drive in Crestline, to discuss the possible annexation plan.
Directors have invited LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) Executive Officer Kathleen Rollins-McDonald to make a presentation on possible annexation. The briefing will give some possible direction to the board, chaired by Leslie Dodge-Taylor, and provide details of such a move and the district’s rights under such a plan.
Following the LAFCO presentation, Crest Forest directors are expected to take a hard look at what it would take to stay independent.
The actual agenda for the February 15 workshop — which is open to the public — has not been published, but sources close to the district indicate it will most likely include the aforementioned items.
Both San Bernardino County Fire and CALFIRE submitted contract proposals to Crest Forest Fire for fire and emergency medical services on February 23, 2011, with directors selecting the basic county proposal for additional consideration and negotiation.
San Bernardino County’s administrative review of all county service contracts has put Crest Forest’s proposal on hold once again, prompting the board to look at additional options for the cash-strapped district.