Ken Carlson

County Pulse: Salida district parcel owners asked to foot bill for staffing 2 stations

Salida Fire Protection District station
Salida Fire Protection District station

Residents and business owners of Salida, Wood Colony and Del Rio can learn about a proposed $156 per home annual fire assessment by attending a community meeting Saturday at the main Salida fire station, 4820 Salida Blvd.

The meeting hosted by Salida Fire Protection District begins at 1 p.m. The district, which separated last year from the defunct Modesto Regional Fire Authority, is getting re-established, and its current funding has not kept pace with increased demand for services, according to a recent district mailer.

Proposition 218 ballots were sent this month to owners of 6,600 parcels in the 42-square-mile special district, asking them whether they support the increased assessments.

A citizens advisory committee developed the plan to create two additional paid engine crews: one to staff the Ladd Road station near Del Rio and the other to work at Salida’s second station at Toomes and Ciccarelli roads. The parcel taxes would generate about $800,000 annually, officials said.

The proposal would replace a $45 annual homeowners’ tax that helps fund emergency services. Besides the $156 for average-size homes, owners of homes larger than 3,000 square feet would pay $195 a year; apartment buildings would be charged $117 per unit; agriculture $1.58 per acre; commercial property about 5 cents a square foot; and industrial parcels 4 cents a square foot. Educational or religious institutions would pay $264 per parcel.

Marked and signed ballots are supposed to be returned by June 17. Only property owners participate in the vote; a ballot count weighted by parcel value will determine if the new assessments are approved.

WEST SIDE HEALTH CARE – West Side residents can take advantage of free health screenings Sunday in Patterson. The screenings for blood pressure, diabetes and other health issues are for adults and children.

Another activity will be a class on cooking healthy meals. The West Side Healthcare Task Force event begins at 3 p.m. in the Patterson High School Auditorium.

In western Stanislaus County, residents of all income levels don’t have the best access to medicine. The task force has tried to build a healthier community with a weight-loss contest for high school students, and art and essay contests.

The group is starting an exercise program, encouraging people to walk around the tracks at Patterson High School and Orestimba High School in Newman. Gustine folks will stroll around Henry Miller Park.

Ken Carlson: (209) 578-2321