IFPD, San Jacinto prepare for possible additions to fire authority

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The Idyllwild-San Jacinto Regional Fire Authority held its second meeting last week. The purpose was to modify their respective resolutions, which created the Joint Powers Authority.

The modification would improve the efficiency of adding new members in the future. At this time, the JPA did not have any other organizations seeking to join. Since interest has been expressed, the board wanted to be prepared if any applications were received.

A new section establishing a process for approving new members was added to the separate resolutions of the two existing members. Both Idyllwild and San Jacinto would have to approve a new member. In the future, all current members would have to approve the addition of any other members.

“The overall goal is that an agency isn’t stuck with a deal that wasn’t the deal which they signed up for,” said San Jacinto Assistant City Attorney Mike Maurer.

The package of changes also addressed several procedural issues, such as the size of the board and initial costs.

The current JPA board is composed of the five San Jacinto City Council members and the five Idyllwild Fire Protection District commissioners. If the agency were to expand, the board size would not continue to expand by five. For example, if there were a third agency member, the JPA’s board would have nine members, three directors from each agency, not 15.

Also, new members may be responsible for a payment that might be attributable to a share of the initial start-up costs, which the city or IFPD may have incurred.

Separately, the city council members and the IFPD commissioners each approved the amendment for their respective resolutions.

The board did have a closed session regarding potential litigation and decided to provide some funding in its anticipation.

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