City to address rising fire protection costs

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With Canyon Lake’s contract for fire protection and emergency medical services expiring at the end of the month, the City Council on Wednesday night faced another proposed agreement with the County of Riverside that demanded significant cost increases in order for the county to continue providing these services to Canyon Lake.

Since 2014, the amount the county has charged the city for providing fire protection and emergency medical services has risen from $1,262,969 to an estimated $2,264,080, an increase of more than 79 percent in just five years.

City revenues, while also growing, have not been able to keep pace. According to the city, these drastic increases have thrown the city’s budget into a structural deficit. If not corrected, the city’s budget deficit of nearly $670,000 will quickly eat away at its General Fund reserves, estimated at $3.7 million.

As the current budget situation is not sustainable, the City Council and city staff are in the process of evaluating potential options. In order to solicit public input, and in the interest of full transparency, the City Council is holding a special meeting on Monday, June 17, at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.

Following a staff presentation and public input, the Council will deliberate and vote on the proposed 12-month agreement with the county for fire protection and emergency medical services.

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