Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | July 2, 2015

PMFD 50 Year Ground Lease Signed

From: Ronchetti, Keith

Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2015 1:47 PM

Update from your PMFD Board of Directors:

At our recent board meeting on June 27th, we voted to sign the 50 year ground lease.  In order for our department to benefit from any capital improvements, we needed to do this.  The goal is to have the San Diego County Fire Authority (SDCFA) spend money on building a fire station that would be more useful for both the fire fighters as well as the community.  We are requesting that a community room be included in the building.  We were able to negotiate in the lease that the community be able to use the current and future community room.

Based on recent information from the SDCFA, we learned that if we signed back a sub-lease, we would then be responsible for all grounds maintenance and costs associated with that.  These costs would not be reimbursed by the SDCFA.  Although we are currently sound, financially, we felt that would put our funds in jeopardy pretty quickly with one big or even many small maintenance or repair issues.  Even this week, there was an issue with the water heater.

At this time, the SDCFA will be paying for all the recurring bills, apparatus maintenance as well as grounds maintenance and upkeep.

We also voted to turn over the apparatus ownership to the county.  In return, they will pay for all the maintenance of them.  As our fleet ages, some of them being close to 15 years, they will need to be replaced.  The SDCFA will be replacing them, when deemed appropriate, with new apparatus.  In fact, we will be getting a new Type 6 vehicle this summer.  Another development is that we now have two water tenders on the mountain.  The reason for that is so that one is ALWAYS on the mountain.  If there is a call to respond to a fire somewhere in the county, one water tender can go, but one must stay.

We are considered a must cover station by SDCFA.  Therefore, staffing our department is a top priority.

You may be wondering with all of these changes, will there be any need for a board or fundraising.  The answer to both, is yes.  Your board will continue to play a very important role as a conduit between the SDCFA and our community.  It will be even more important for the board to make sure all is going as planned at your department.  We will be community and fire fighter advocates.  Monthly board meetings will continue as always.  As far as fundraising needs, we won’t need to pay for new apparatus but we will need to keep other functions, such as CERT, going.  We will have ongoing expenses associated with insurance needs to cover liability for community events at the station.  Also, when we do have community events at the station, there will be some expenses associated with them.  Even things as simple as new tables or chairs for our events when they wear out must be replaced from our funds.

We are humbled to be board members at a time when there are many changes happening throughout the SDCFA.  They have recently added paid, full-time Paramedics at some stations.  We are going to campaign for that here at PMFD as our service continues.

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