Oakdale officials voted Monday, Sept. 3 to join with the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District and Oakdale Rural Fire District into exploring the merger as one department.
The move is anticipated to be a more efficient way of delivering fire protection and emergency medical services to a majority of the Eastern Stanislaus County area.
The vote of 5-0 by Oakdale City Council members initiates an application to the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) which guides the boundaries for the formations of districts.
“To make a prudent decision regarding this potential consolidation, the city is being asked to join with Stanislaus Consolidated and Oakdale Fire District in approving this resolution of intent to reorganize the fire delivery system,” said Deputy Chief Michael Wapnowski. “This action does not commit the city to any action other than participating in the study of the effects of the proposed consolidation. It is important to begin the process with LAFCo at this time due to the length of time necessary to review the various elements of the consolidation.”
The City of Oakdale and Oakdale Rural District already contract with the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Department for management services and joint staffing of Fire Station 1 in the city.
A study on the merger is being financed by the Stanislaus Consolidated board and is anticipated to be completed by October 2013 and, if annexation went through, would have to be forwarded to the county assessor’s office by January 2014 to realign boundaries for property tax purposes.
The possible annexation would provide for an expanded tax base to the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire District and would reduce redundancy in apparatus, personnel and equipment costs, and may also identify areas for savings not foreseen at the outset by providing more efficient application of available resources.