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San Juan Island Fire Dept reducing response to aid calls; no longer redundant

LWVSJ Observer Corps summary of : San Juan Island Fire District, August 8, 2023 meeting

During the citizen comment period, someone asked why citizen comments were no longer recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The Chair Cardinale said he would look into the matter. The correspondence was a letter supporting a candidate for Fire Chief. 

The commissioners approved payment of bills and payroll. One large expenditure was the production of the annual firefighters’ manual. Overtime had increased, largely because staff were filling in for those on vacation. 

The commission discussed progress on the agreement with the Town of Friday Harbor for fire prevention services that Fire and Rescue #3 would provide to businesses. Businesses will receive advance notice of the inspections. The town will retain enforcement functions.

The financial situation is consistent with projections. The total income budgeted for 2023 is $2,611,700 while the actual income is $1,953,147 for seven months is 75% of what was budgeted above the target of 58%.  Actual expenses were $1,213,132 vs $2,341,247 or 52% of 2023 total budgeted expenses, slightly below the 58% target. They received a grant that will offset some of the costs of the new fire vessel. There were no capital fund requests in this period. 

Operationally, Fire and Rescue met minimum staffing needs last month. Travel time was normal. The staff engaged in a significant amount of all hazard training. F&R has reduced EMS calls, going only when it will not be redundant with other responders.

Fire and Rescue will participate in the County Fair. They will take responsibility for watering the horse arena in exchange for 80 admission tickets and free booths. This will save both the fair and F&R funds. 

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization encourages informed participation in government. The Observer Corps attends and takes notes at government meetings to expand public understanding of public policy and decisions. The notes do not necessarily reflect the views of the League or its members. 

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