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Riverbank, Fire Department Talks To Continue
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The Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District board of directors meets with representatives of developers, landowners and the City of Riverbank. The group is discussing proposed fire suppression fees to be charged builders as Crossroads West is developed, to the west of Riverbank, across Oakdale Road. The group agreed to extend the deadline for coming to a consensus.
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Workshop meetings continued last week between the City of Riverbank and the board of the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District, with an extension on the deadline on negotiations on developer fees for fire services in the upcoming Crossroads West annexation.

The previous deadline was Sunday, May 12. The proposed date would be Friday, May 17, but, according to City Manager Sean Scully, the city council would have to officially approve the extension. Both Mayor Richard O'Brien, City Attorney Tom Hallinan and Scully attended last week's workshop, on May 9.

A regular council meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, May 14, but, as of press deadline for the News, the item had not been added to the posted agenda. The item could potentially be included for action during the meeting if it was determined to be a necessary emergency.

A statutory deadline for the fire district to file suit was 5 p.m. on Friday, April 19. It was a deadline to make a claim against the city over fire impact fees and slow the annexation process. The district is concerned the city is setting fees too low to cover costs for additional fire service in that area.

In the resulting workshops, discussion has centered upon the difference between the district's estimate of fees and the city's. The district will need to purchase land and build a 5,000 square-foot fire station, equip and staff it as the area develops.

The plan area is just west of current Riverbank city limits. It stretches from Claribel Road in the south to the MID canal, north of Morrill Road and from Oakdale Road, west to an MID canal.

The city has passed the required resolutions to certify its Environmental Impact Report and set developer fees to cover projected costs. It had hoped to submit the annexation proposal to the Local Agency Formation Commission for the annexation and get approval by mid-June, allowing construction to begin in the fall.

At the same SCFPD board meeting, officials learned that the City of Oakdale has notified the district of its intent to withdraw from discussions on the extension or renewal of a contract to provide fire services for both the city fire department and Oakdale Rural Fire District.

The current contract expires on June 30, 2019.