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Five Cities Fire Authority clears another budget hurdle

Posted at 11:42 PM, Jun 11, 2019

The Five Cities Fire Authority is another step closer in solving its budgeting problem for the fiscal year 2019-2020.

The Five Cities Fire Authority Joint Powers Agreement was a topic of discussion during the Arroyo Grande City Council meeting Tuesday night.

The Fire Authority is made up of funding from three Central Coast Cities: Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Oceano. At last night’s meeting, Arroyo Grande approved funding for the joint fire and emergency services for the next year. Funding from Arroyo Grande increased by $57,000 year over year.

“I use this as a road map as what the council wanted to achieve, many of them were achieved but again we’re working with two other partners and this seems to be a good place for us,” said James Bergman, Arroyo Grande City Manager.

Last Monday, Grover Beach approved its funding.

The remaining issue now on funding is Oceano Community Services District. The budget will be discussed Wednesday night where funding is expected to be approved for one year, according Five Cities Fire Authority Chief Steve Lieberman.

However, the future is the question, as the CSD will put the question of future funding before voters in the spring of 2020 through a ballot measure.

Currently, the city of Arroyo Grande funds 45% of Five Cities Fire Authority budget, Grover Beach pays for 35%, and Oceano contributes the remaining 20%.