San Jacinto losing interest in joint fire authority with Idyllwild Fire

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The future of a joint power authority for the Idyllwild Fire Protection District to provide fire and emergency medical services to the City of San Jacinto appears to be changing.

In the litigation filed this summer to establish validation of the JPA, San Jacinto City was a plaintiff. At the city council meeting Tuesday night, Dec. 6, the city decided to dismiss its involvement in the suit.

Later in the meeting, the council authorized City Manager Tim Hults to hire a contractor to evaluate the city’s future options for delivery of fire services. The options to be considered include creation of its own fire department, a JPA with large municipal agencies and continuing to contract with the county.

Hults expects the study to be completed in March or April.

Next the council authorized Hults to extend the contract for county fire service through June 2018. Next year’s costs will be about $3.4 million, about $50,000 more than the current year.

Later, council members were very complimentary of the Riverside County Fire Department’s work and cooperation.

“We’d be honored to serve you for a year or forever,” county Fire Chief John Hawkins said to the council.

No one from IFPD was present at the meeting.

JP Crumrine can be reached at jp@towncrier.com.

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