Members of the Community Service Area 38 (Pine Cove) Advisory Committee met last week to review the status of several projects previously approved. This would form the basis of the CSA 38 budget for fiscal year 2018-19, which begins July 1.

Through the first 11 months of the current fiscal year (2017-18), revenues from property taxes and interest received were about $66,000. Expenditures this year for the same period have been about $123,700.

The two major expenditures already paid from CSA funds were the acquisition of a wood chipper and the cost for the shaded cover over the gas pumps, which the Pine Cove Fire Station 23 and Pine Cove Water District share.

At the end of May, the county report indicates that CSA 38 has nearly $420,000 still available.

During the meeting, with the help of Riverside County Battalion Chief Robert Fish, Station 23, and David Alvarez, development specialist for Economic Development Agency, the committee reviewed the status of previously approved purchases.

The masticator has been approved and the purchase order is with the manufacturer, Fish said. He expects it to be delivered in mid-July. The autopulse, an automated CPR device, has been delivered. Staff training must be conducted before it can be used on incidents.

The new rescue rope and extrication equipment has been ordered, according to Fish.

Collectively, these four purchases will cost CSA 38 about $100,000 and are the basis for its proposed 2018-19 budget. There will be some other costs, such as additional fire hydrants.

Committee Chair Jerry Holldber estimated that these purchases and another estimated $45,000 to help share the cost of fuelbreak maintenance for Pine Cove protection will total about $165,000. After the acquisitions are completed next year and the addition of the $60,000 in property taxes, the CSA 38 cash balance at the end of 2018-19 should be about $310,000, the committee estimated.

Committee member Marge Muir asked what the minimum balance or reserve should be. “Seems like we spend $100,000 every year,” she said. “We need to be conscientious and think of the community and what might come up in the future.”

Alvarez pointed out the recent large acquisitions of a new engine, the masticator and chipper should not need replacing for eight to 10 years, giving the committee time to rebuild the cash.

Fish thanked the Advisory Committee for its willingness to invest in fire hydrants throughout the Pine Cove community, even in some of the non-residential areas.

“The Indian Fire [June 14] was held to a quarter acre thanks to the proximity of fire hydrants, which helped control it,” Fish told the committee. “I’m supportive of any expansion of the fire hydrant system. I continue to believe that investment in the hydrant systems’ infrastructure is a worthy protection.”

County staff also reported that Rescue 23, which had been retired when the new patrol was purchased a year ago, had recently been sold at an auction. Since CSA 38 had originally purchased the vehicle for the community’s benefit, the proceeds of more than $12,000 will be returned to the CSA 38 account.