Beckwourth Fire District board member George Bundy called the district’s monthly, public meeting to order at 6:33 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20, with all board members in attendance.
The meeting took place at Fire Station 1 in Beckwourth and lasted approximately an hour.
After the Pledge of Allegiance and the members of the board quickly introducing themselves, the meeting moved on to Administrative Assistant Fran Zeits’ report on the fire department’s revenue and expenditures during the month of June.
According to Zeits’ report, the department generated only $420.73 of revenue during the month of June, but the department’s total cash balance still stands at $126,580 when the district’s assets are weighed against its liabilities.
Zeits also talked at length about the upcoming Uniform District Election, which will be held Nov. 7 to determine who will fill Peggi Vernon’s seat when her current term expires.
Anyone interested in running for the seat can call the Plumas County Clerk’s office at 283-6129.
Bundy then asked Beckwourth Fire Chief Greg McCaffrey to discuss his own report about the status of the department and its facilities.
McCaffrey began by explaining that the informal medical training and fire training that department firefighters have undertaken are proceeding without any major hiccups.
In addition, McCaffrey used his time to talk about small repairs made to department vehicles and to Fire Stations 1 and 2.
New security cameras will be installed inside Fire Station 1 in the next few days and new flooring is expected to be added in Fire Station 2 in the near future, McCaffrey said.
McCaffrey also talked at length about the Beckwourth airport, citing minor safety concerns that will have to be addressed in subsequent meetings.
One of the problems at the airport that McCaffrey said he is eager to rectify is the address system for the airport’s hangar bays.
The privately-owned hangars lack a uniform address system, raising concern among board members that it might be hard to find the right building in an emergency.
Bundy then called on citizen Dwight Ceresola who came to the department seeking a parcel tax reimbursement for a property he sold to the state.
An argument quickly broke out between Ceresola and Bundy on whether the fire department can give tax reimbursements or if that is a duty best left to the county.
“I suggest you go back to the county,” Bundy told Ceresola. Ceresola laughed in response without looking up at Bundy.
“You can sit there and laugh if you want to,” Bundy said in response.
“It’s not a friendly laugh,” replied Ceresola.
Eventually, Dwight said that “this makes the next step easier,” and Bundy moved to close the matter.
After this short spat was concluded, the meeting turned to a discussion of two resolutions. Resolution 2017-001 and 2017-002, which essentially formally requests the collection of charges on the unsecured tax roll and tax roll from the County, passed unanimously.
McCaffrey discussed an appraisal of the district’s fire stations conducted by Golden State Risk Management Authority.
The review was set up as a formality and the GSRMA never actually inspected the properties in person.
The board then discussed a notice they received from Fire Recovery, a billing service that helps the department recover funds after an accident occurs.
The notice suggested that the district increase its charges by 12 percent so that Fire Recovery can continue operating at full capacity, but Bundy decided not to pursue an increase in charges because he did not think it was feasible.
When the board all agreed not to accept an increased charge from Fire Recovery, McCaffrey opened up a discussion about policies and procedures regarding record retention at the department.
According to McCaffrey, the records, which the department is required to keep, take up a lot of space and are sometimes lost due to technical and human errors.
To address the issue, McCaffrey asked for a district policy that would essentially outline how to better store records like emails and phone logs.
Policy 3090 was produced during the meeting to address the issue and the board voted unanimously to adopt it.