County approves fire contract for Canyon Lake

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After two years of pleading with the county to serve Canyon Lake with a smaller crew at a lesser cost so that Canyon Lake could reopen Fire Station 60, the Board of Supervisors approved a new one-year fire protection contract on Tuesday, May 9, for the City of Canyon Lake.

Riverside Country District One Supervisor Kevin Jeffries said, “Six months into the contract the city council will need to decide if it will bump up to three-person staffing or terminate the contract at the end of 12 months and possibly create a city fire dept or close the station and contract with nearby cities to provide services again.” He added, “It’s a start.”

Canyon Lake Mayor Vicki Warren said, “This is a great step for Canyon Lake. The city council has worked hard on this for sure and in particular new council member Larry Greene, who has been most instrumental. Well done Canyon Lake.”

Opening the city’s lone fire station comes at a cost of $1.4 million. “A substantially less cost than the $2.1 million it was headed to before the station closed,” said Mayor Warren.

The agreement includes Fire Station opening with a two-man engine, including a paramedic.

The city leases the station from the Canyon Lake Property Owners Association. The lease requires the city to pay for the building’s maintenance. After being closed for nearly two years, the station is in need of repairs in order to be reopened and staffed by July 1.

In April, the council approved $110,000 for the repairs needed. The council authorized City Manager Aaron Palmer to solicit proposals for the repair and maintenance of the fire station. Aaron has assigned the task of soliciting the proposals to Charles Abbott Associates who will also oversee the entire project. “We’re working on the station now with the anticipation of opening it in July,” said Aaron.

Mayor Warren said Fire Station 60 is expected to reopen July 1. “We’re excited about it,” she said. “I haven’t ordered the cake yet, but I’m going to.”

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Donna Ritchie