IFPD tax advance before board of supervisors

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In an early morning special meeting, a majority of the Idyllwild Fire Protection District commission approved an agreement between the district and Riverside County regarding the request for the county to advance some property tax revenue to the district.

Approval of the tax advance was on the board of supervisor’s agenda for its Sept. 20 meeting. It had been on the July 12 agenda but was pulled at the last minute.

The agreement, itself, is very similar to the agreements from previous years when the tax advance occurred, such as last year.

“Our first and only agenda item is approval of the agreement required by the county to be approved at [tomorrow’s] board meeting,” stated Chair Jerry Buchanan. And the fire commission approved it 3-0. Commissioners Larry Donahoo and Nancy Layton were excused from the meeting.

The agreement specifies the term (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017), the transfer of funds will occur within one week of the county board of supervisor’s signature and the district’s agreement to pay interest of about $1,860.

The major change in the agreement from the July version was lowering the interest repayment by about $440 from $2,300.

“We weren’t notified that the advancement wasn’t approved,” Fire Chief Patrick Reitz said.

“We are in a situation that we can make payroll, but then have to manage everything else we do,” Buchanan said.

The agreement was pulled from the July agenda because of questions regarding IFPD’s payment of its charges for dispatch service from the county. While Reitz acknowledged the payments had not been paid, he stated there had been questions and the county never notified the district that the item would be dropped from the supervisors’ agenda.

“This has been corrected,” he assured the commission.

In previous years, the IFPD resolution authorizing the tax advance request had been sufficient for the board of supervisors to act. This is the first year that the county has required IFPD to separately approve the agreement.

After the vote, Buchanan indicated that the district may explore the option of obtaining a line of credit in the future to avoid the delays posed by the county.

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