Board of Supervisors no longer sees need

On Thursday, Jan. 25, County Service Area 60, which is in Pinyon, may be dissolved after 49 years.

In August, the Riverside County Board of Supervisor passed a resolution requesting the county’s Local Area Formation Committee review the need for CSA 60’s continuation.

The board’s resolution stated, “The purpose of [CSA 60] has been accomplished and there is no need to continue the service of operation and maintaining the Pinyon Flats Fire Station as that responsibility is now performed as a core service of the County of Riverside through Riverside County Fire/Cal Fire.”

CSA 60 was formed in December 1968 to construct, operate and maintain a fire station in the Pinyon Pines area. Station 30, on Highway 74, is the result of that effort.

Over time, CSA 60’s purpose evolved to support the volunteer firefighters assigned to Station 30. In 2002, residents approved a special $25 annual assessment to fund supplies or equipment for the Pinyon volunteer firefighters. However, in 2010, when the county shifted from reliance on volunteers to using trained reserves, the need for CSA 60’s funds was questioned.

Both the county’s Economic Development Agency and Board of Supervisors believe the need for CSA 60 has ended. Riverside County Fire Department provides fire support and protection to the Pinyon community and has responsibility for maintaining Station 30.

The collection of the $25 special assessment ended in 2013. At the time, it was generating about $59,500 annually. Since CSA 60 was established before Proposition 13 was passed, it still receives some property-tax revenue, too. Prior to the 2002 vote for the special assessment, this was the sole income source for CSA 60. However, the last expenditure in support of volunteers occurred in 2013, according to the LAFCO report.

As of November, the CSA 60 cash balance was $340,261. According to Michael Franklin, principal development specialist for EDA’s Community and Cultural Services Division, the remaining funds will be used for the benefit of the community.

The LAFCO report states that after the proposed dissolution is official, state law (Government Code section 57454) will prohibit a direct distribution of cash assets to residents. So, the county intends to apply the remaining money to the community’s needs, as yet to be determined.

Physical assets of CSA 60, which include a water tender, light rescue truck, jaws of life, and thermal imaging camera, will go to the county.

CSA 60 comprises about 9,200 acres, which is divided into 2,378 parcels.