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Residents May Have to Subscribe For Emergency Services

Under a plan proposed by city staff, the Murrieta Fire Protection District may institute a subscription fee for residents that would offset the cost of services.

Residents may have to subscribe for emergency services from the fire department, if a plan to reduce costs and increase reserves is approved.

The Murrieta City Council -- sitting as the Fire District -- is slated Tuesday to consider a plan to institute a subscription program for emergency services.

Those residents who opt out of the plan would have to pay for their emergency services, under a proposal supported by staff.

In addition to the subscription fee, city staff has proposed that the department set aside an ambulance paramedic crew strictly for emergency services, keeping firefighters on engines so that services would not have be cut.

Under this proposal, service response times would also remain intact, according to a staff report on the matter.

Funding for the district comes mainly from property tax revenues but a downturn in the economy and lessening in property values has had a negative impact on the heretofore healthy reserves.

Between 2008-09 and 2010-11 fical years, the MFD had a 24-percent decrease in revenue, the staff report indicates.

A sunset clause in the proposal will allow for reduction in subscription rates by 50 percent, should property taxes return to 2008-09 levels, according to the staff report.

The subscription service would cost $4 per month per household.

Revenue to be generated by the two-pronged approach is estimated at $700,000, according to the staff report.

EVO July 02, 2012 at 12:42 AM
I agree Jon.. not a fan... CAL FIRE..
EVO July 02, 2012 at 12:45 AM
I am tired of increases & fees, they sit around 90% of the time.. No thanks.. If I need them which I highly doubt.
Jack July 02, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Oh didn't you hear? The housuing crisis is over. Oh yeah, no worries. Don't we already pay for theses services with property taxes? How about trimming the Murrieta PD? Lets get some fresh ideas instead of this same old crappy solutions. Think outside the box for once!
heather July 02, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Good idea, Jack...or you could just move to Moreno Valley.
Roy T Tatar July 02, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Typical scare tactics from the FD & "neutral" members of the city's elected officials. I agree with Jack: fire some cops & balance the budget. At the very least, how about a vote from the citizens instead of a decree from City Hall & FD?
Just Sayin' July 02, 2012 at 02:35 AM
EVO, I don't think constant training, and all the medical aids calls, rounding up snakes, child locked in vehicles calls, oh yeah the structure and vegetation fires, accidents, and the list can go on, constitutes "sitting around" Cal Fire and MFD work very well together. They both provide great mutual aid to each other and our communities
Cannon July 02, 2012 at 03:28 AM
PD is untouchable, sorry to say, it would be great to the budget balanced but how is 60%+ budget in favor of PD balanced? They just hired a new Tech ........... Besides MFD has been a staple in this community since BEFORE PD, I would rather keep them than PD.
EVO July 02, 2012 at 03:40 AM
We can just get/Lease RSO from Justice center in French Valley, they also take over all liability and the city is not accountable.. Murrieta PD can go with fire.. Then we save money and yes we already pay for these services with our taxes.. I don't need to pay extra for idiots who can't eat, or take meds when suppose too. Just sayin
Harvey Mushman July 02, 2012 at 05:48 AM
County Fire may be the solution. Or possibly consider going with Paid Call firemen and women. Most small town fire departments are all volunteer. Having another bill come to the house is not the answer. Come on Chief, what is the average salary for your Dept? The Murrieta Teachers just took a 10 % decrease in pay. Just throwing out some ideas...
Hector Sandoval July 02, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Federal taxes, State taxes, County taxes, City taxes,....I think is time for bigger cutbacks. My income is also down 25% who is goint to help me out? nobody so what did I do CUT BACK ON STUFF I DON'T NEED why can't the city do the same enough with more taxes....NO MORE TAXES PLEASE
AngryOne July 02, 2012 at 07:29 AM
Not to mention the fat pensions! What is it now? Retire at 50 at 90% of the highest yearly earning?
Sandra P July 02, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Enough is enough. Do something about the ridiculous pensions first before we turn into a small version of San Jose! Don't they get it yet? The people here are living in one of the worst hit economy bombs.. That $4 will creap it's way up faster than the city's eucalyptus bug!
Dourk July 02, 2012 at 03:49 PM
So the cops are about to get a 6% raise and now we have to pay to subscribe to fire prevention?
AnnieB July 02, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Great comments!! One more that hasnt been mentioned.....now, my health insurance plan will be shooting thru the roof bc of the new "tax" that obama is implementing. Im still paying my property taxes, state taxes, federal taxes, and now another "fee"?I HATE that every politician is finding a way to coat their pockets with my already decreased salary! Ugh!!!!
Cannon July 02, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Don't get upset at MFD, they are doing everything they can - TALK TO THE PD!!!!
Brett July 02, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Why not just cut the Duty Chiefs spot they don't run calls anyway. Further more fire inspectors what is there to inspect the city isn't building. Come we need the firefighters but the overhead can go.
Ed P. July 02, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Seems when money was flush MFD added paramedics to their crews because they were unhappy with the response the from AMR. They were providing a redundant service. A nice `service when it can be afforded. Now with money tight everywhere seems a better solution for us to state what response time we need from AMR and negotiate a contract to provide that level of service. Can we continue to afford a duplicate paramedic service? Allso, by contract the MFD MUST turn over a patient as soon as AMR arrives.
Jim Allan July 02, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Our property taxes are already way too high. Even after I pay off my home I will still have a $480/mo tax payment due plus the insurance. This proposal is completely out of line.
Frank July 02, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Just close station five the bear creek station and lay off nine guys. I live over there and they don't do anything anyways
Ed P. July 02, 2012 at 05:43 PM
That's YOUR opinion, I totally disagree.
Frank July 02, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Need to save money no one wants to support it, cut services only way to have a fire department. Tell you what let AMR be responsible for our firefighting too, what garden hoses will save the other houses and let the one on fire burn down that's how other local fire departments do things. Burn down to the slab
Thomas Blair July 02, 2012 at 11:30 PM
The "tax" is being held against people WITHOUT insurance. Since you said you have insurance how exactly will this "tax" effect your rates? The only increases which may arise as a result of Obamacare would depend upon your existing insurance plan. If your plan doesn't include coverage for areas that Obamacare will now require than a necessary increase may occur. However, this will be offset by the fact that Obamacare now requires insurance companies to spend a minimum percentage on actual health coverage. If they do not then they must return the money to the owners of the plan. This is why so many people will be getting refund checks from their insurance companies this summer. If you get one, thank Obama. http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-04-27/news/31415775_1_average-rebate-insurers-new-rules-kick http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2012/06/29/obamacare-is-constitutional-get-over-it/ http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/06/28/what-the-obamacare-ruling-means-for-consumers
TSManning July 03, 2012 at 06:15 AM
Haha that eucalyptus thing got me chuckling .. I thought I was the only one who noticed those invasive stinkers.
Lynda StarWriter July 03, 2012 at 06:56 AM
I'm empathetic to the subscription fee contention, however, Murrieta is an elite community largely because of the quality, municipal services. In my judgment and first-hand observation, MFD offers the community an expert brand of professionalism, for each firefighter obtains and demonstrates a multltude of specialized skill sets and knowledge for particular types of incidents -- small or disastrous. In addition, they work in earnest for a community about which they care deeply. Four bucks a month? Well, that's really a personal, financial decision, isn't it? Let's not detract one iota from the exemplary MFD while considering this proposed, fiscal avenue.
Greg July 03, 2012 at 05:12 PM
it starts at $4 and where does it end.
AFR July 03, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Read the story! Did you see the "sunset clause"??? Here Greg, I'll re-post it for you. In the future, read the whole story and don't be like most bloggers, just write negative comments after reading the title of the story. Here's what the article read and hopefully will answer your question about "where does it end"; "A sunset clause in the proposal will allow for reduction in subscription rates by 50 percent, should property taxes return to 2008-09 levels, according to the staff report."
AFR July 03, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Frank, I can honestly say, out of all the idiots that post on these blogs, you are in the top 5 of the biggest morons that I've ever seen. Frank, what you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this blog is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Harvey Mushman July 24, 2012 at 06:13 AM
I'll tell where this is going. Murrieta may become the latest city to the Bankrupt list. The good times have clearly gone. A small city with little tax revenue and really no entertainment draw such as a Disneyland or a vacation draw like San Diego will eventually have money issues; especially if they have their own fire and police services. Realize both agencies don't make revenue. The MPD and city fire department cost too much money for our little community to afford. The county sheriff and Cal Fire should be ready to absorb both departments...
Lenny Marshman II August 16, 2012 at 05:51 PM
So-called Fire-"fighters" KNOW they're committing one of the biggest con-jobs of all time. Name another profession, perhaps Drawbridge Attendant, where you spend most of your time NOT doing your core job. They get "Fluffy" out of trees, take "Sparky" to P.S. 97, shop at the grocery store, work-out with weights, polish their vehicles. In a typical work-week, what is the percentage of time spent actually "fighting fires"? And they get paid handsomely to boot, and we tax-payers foot the bill. What a scam!
Amanda Golden August 20, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Name another job besides Drawbridge Attendant... um, US military special forces spend a great deal of their time in training and comparatively very little time in actual real-world operations. Doesn't make me love, respect or appreciate them any less.

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