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Grass Valley Council to talk Nevada City Fire Station 54

Know and Go

What: Grass Valley City Council meeting

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 14

Where: Grass Valley City Council Chambers, 125 East Main St., Grass Valley

The Grass Valley City Council will meet Tuesday night to discuss approval of additional fire assistance Grass Valley will provide Nevada City Fire Station 54 due to the station’s transition into a third shift brown-out schedule.

“As part of our (joint operational area) partnership, we’re going to strive to do what we can to help our partner agency as they seek a sustainable funding source for their operation,” Grass Valley Fire Chief Mark Buttron said. “This will be a brief overview to the council … seeking approval for us to lend our assistance, as we all agreed upon.”

In October, the Nevada County Consolidated Fire board approved a proposal, on a 4-3 vote, to reduce staff from 30 to 27 firefighters in the district by declining to fill three vacant positions.



After meeting with fire union representatives, Nevada City Manager Mark Prestwich said the city came up with a plan to staff at least two of the station’s three 48-hour shifts by hiring a supplemental firefighter for up to 18 months, bringing the station’s staff to four firefighters and two interns. Prestwich presented that plan to Nevada City council members on Wednesday.

Nevada City will not hire to fill a currently vacant position, instead using those funds to pay the new firefighter’s salary.




The city applied for a federal grant that would fund the station full time for 24 months, and will likely receive a decision sometime between June 1 and Sept. 31.

Potential long-term funding for the station would come from a proposed June 2016 measure that would increase city sales tax by a quarter of a percent to accrue $290,000 annually.

City documents state the station’s closure will increase responses primarily from Grass Valley’s Fire Station 2 and Consolidated Fire Station 84. Fire incidents will impact Grass Valley Fire Station 1 to compensate for Station 54’s brown-out schedule and loss of resources.

Due to the brownout schedule, Nevada City firefighters will also not participate in certain strike team assignments in the joint operational area.

“Any time you lose a resource, potentially response times may pick up, because your responding agencies will be coming from farther away,” said Buttron. “But both fire stations are geographically located at positions to help assist … Fire Station 84 basically goes across the street entering Nevada City. So will it be a significant increase in response times? It’s yet be known, but certainly we’ll be picking up the call volume on those two days.”

In other business, council members will vote to approve a decrease in the city’s home buyer subordination processing fee from $500 to $100, and projects proposed for the Nevada County Transportation Commission work program. The council will also accept a proposal to align its city regulations surrounding water conservation with the state’s.

For more information go to http://www.cityofgrassvalley.com.

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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