Saturday, September 15, 2018

Marinwood, San Rafael closing in on fire service deal

Marinwood, San Rafael closing in on fire service deal

By ADRIAN RODRIGUEZ | | Marin Independent Journal
September 12, 2018 at 8:37 pm

After studying the costs and benefits, Marinwood and San Rafael fire departments could soon be operating under the same chief — if a new five-year agreement gets a thumbs-up.

The Marinwood Community Services District this week agreed that the fire department should expand its shared services with San Rafael in lieu of hiring a new fire chief. The district board voted 3-0, with directors Leah Green and William Shea absent, to go ahead with that plan.

Now the San Rafael City Council is now poised to authorize the agreement, which would mean that San Rafael’s fire chief officers would oversee administration and operations of the Marinwood department.

“From the options on the table, this made the most sense,” said Eric Dreikosen, Marinwood district manager. “We’ve had a longstanding relationship with San Rafael, and I expect it to go seamlessly.”

The Marinwood Fire Department is among a handful of other agencies that recently explored the benefits of expanding shared services, including plans between Southern Marin and Mill Valley, and a recent chief sharing agreement between Ross Valley and the county.

The move would amend a shared services agreement between the two departments that was first established in 2014. It would put the community services district on the hook for $96,320 annually to be paid to San Rafael to provide fire chief oversight for the Marinwood department.

At the end of each year, that service fee will increase by 3 percent. The five-year contract could be canceled with a 90-day notification.

The San Rafael City Council is expected to consider the amendment at either its Oct. 1 or 15 meeting, City Manager Jim Schutz said.

“San Rafael and Marinwood have a long history of working collaboratively to provide the best service possible, and this could be another great example of that,” Schutz said.

The Marinwood Fire Department began exploring options for a new chief last year when fire Chief Tom Roach announced that he would be retiring. The department has 10 firefighters and a $2.6 million budget.

Roach, who is 50, has spent 27 years with the department, 15 years as chief. He earns $170,000 annually and is expected to retire Oct. 31. See full article HERE

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