BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Kern County Board of Supervisors voted October 12 to approve the newly revised Kern County Fire Department contracts in 3 cities within Kern.
These cities do not have local fire departments, so it was pertinent that an agreement is made.
These negotiations have been in the works for more than 11 months and while some cities' fiscal impacts will be in the million’s others will have none.
“The first 3 cities have actually approved the contract and that’s Delano and Shafter and Wasco,” said James Zervis, Kern County Chief Operations Officer.
Although each city’s contract is similar each requires a different amount of revenue
For the City of Delano, their old contract revenue was $2,468,014 yearly but with the new contracts, the cost will be $2,598,346 an $35,256 increase which will go up every contract year until 2028.
The annual increases in the contract fee will be funding exclusively available for the operations, maintenance, and capital needs of the Kern County Fire Department.
For the city of Wasco, their old contract revenue was $529,134 yearly but with the new contracts, the cost will be $564,390 an $130,331 increase which will also go up every contract year until 2028.
Wasco will end up with extra revenue that will be put into future fire-related operations.
As for the City of Shafter, their old contract revenue was $238,637 yearly but with the new contracts, the cost will be $285,873,390an $47,236 increase which will go down every contract year until 2028.
These contracts will provide a significant amount of revenue to the Kern County Fire Department compared to when they only received a reimbursement rate of 48%.
“Just for these 3 contracts this would provide an extra 1.62 million dollars annually,” said Zervis.
Zervis said that throughout the negotiations they were able to provide education to each city about what services KCFD provides and develop even closer relationships.
“I just wanted to echo the comments that Mr. Zervis said in speaking with all the city managers they’ve all echoed those same comments that they believe that the kern county fire department provides excellent service top-notch,” said Fire chief Aaron Duncan.
There are still 6 cities within Kern that will need the approval to continue their KCFD contract including Ridgecrest, Taft, Tehachapi, Maricopa, Mcfarland.