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Five Cities Fire Authority Board to meet this week as authority’s future is in question

Posted at 1:04 AM, Mar 13, 2019

A Five Cities Fire Authority Board meeting is scheduled for Friday amid uncertainty about the agency’s future.

The board will meet at the Grover Beach City Council Chambers at 10 a.m. Friday.

The agenda for the meeting doesn’t go into detail on what will be covered during the meeting.

In February, Arroyo Grande city leaders began discussing the possibility of leaving the Five Cities Fire Authority to form their own fire department.

City leaders cited budgeting issues and said they were looking into how the authority should be funded or if it should be disbanded.

It was formed in 2010 to provide a cost-effective and efficient fire department to serve Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, and Oceano.

Arroyo Grande pays for 47 percent of the authority’s expenses, which equated to roughly $2.5 million in 2018. Grover Beach pays for 34 percent of the authority’s expenses, and the Oceano Community Services District pays 19 percent.

The Oceano Community Services District was scheduled to discuss the issue at a meeting Wednesday, however, that meeting was canceled, according to the CSD’s website.

The three cities have until April 1 to come up with an agreement to continue to divvy up the expenses, otherwise, any of the cities could choose to leave the authority.

Five Cities Fire Chief Steve Lieberman previously said disbanding the authority could cause problems for the community and potentially impact response times.