Public Policy: Fire Department Consolidation

The City of Dallas, Sheridan Fire District, SW Polk Rural Fire Protection District, and West Valley Fire District are proposing a pilot consolidation of their fire and ems services. Once approved, a joint management services agreement between the four agencies could go into effect as early as July 1st, 2019. The following questions and answers provide details about the proposed consolidation.

What is changing?

The four agencies are considering a pilot consolidation of their fire and ems service delivery systems. Phase I of the consolidation would involve only management functions. All firefighters employed by each department would remain employees of their current departments, and all current bargaining agreements would remain in place. Phase I of the consolidation would include sharing the cost of a single fire chief, restructuring administrative support functions, and exploring opportunities to leverage resources through joint purchasing power. The four fire agencies also would establish a single operational structure and implement standardized training, policies, and procedures.

This effort will take the place of the several current individual intergovernmental agreements these agencies have between each other currently.

Phase II bring the benefits from consolidation that occurred in phase I to allow for increased response personnel and thus provide quicker, faster, safer services to our citizens.

Why are the four fire agencies considering consolidation?

All four agencies have operated their own fire and ems service system since their inception. Each agency has their own history of previous consolidation efforts to enhance their service delivery system. There is high level of cooperation between the four agencies, yet they maintain separate organizational infrastructures. As is the case in many areas, budgetary pressures are creating difficulties in maintaining appropriate levels of service. The goal of the proposed consolidation is to provide the best fire and ems services possible to the areas and communities given available resources. The plan would eliminate redundancy and duplication of effort, provide opportunities for cost savings, and enhance the level of service for all four agencies. At the same time, the proposed consolidation would generate significant savings over individually meeting the same service levels.

Are these the first fire and ems services to consider consolidation?

No. consolidating fire and ems services is a nationwide trend to maintain fire and emergency medical response in the face of budget challenges. There are several nearby completed examples: Lane Fire Authority, Redmond Fire District, and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. Several other nearby areas are considering similar process: McMinnville, Forest Grove, Cornelius, and Albany.

Will this consolidation of fire and emergency medical services affect my annual tax payment?

Yes, there will be an increase in the annual property tax, however, the increase will be less than if the fire and ems systems were enhanced as individual agency systems. The amount of any increase will vary upon which service area you are located within.

The chart below describes each agency annual tax changes.

Agency Name Dallas Fire & EMS Sheridan District Fire SW Polk Fire West Valley Fire
Current tax rate per $1000 $1.21 $1.47 $1.54 $1.46
Individual tax rate per $1000 $2.65 $2.45 $2.57 $3.23
Consolidated tax rate per $1000 $1.94 $1.94 $1.94 $1.94

 

Would there be other benefits associated with consolidation?

Infrastructure improvements associated with the consolidation will improve service to the community. For example, all agencies could begin using a common information technology service including the need for meeting Oregon Records Retention laws. Emergency planning could also be improved through common practices and stronger communication.

Who would oversee the consolidated department?

Beginning in Phase I, the fire chief would be shared by all agencies. In addition to the fire chief, all agencies would share several senior command staff personnel. The fire chief would report to the Fire & EMS Planning Coalition.

What impact would the consolidation have on fire and emergency medical services to the area involved?

The consolidation effort is designed to increase fire & ems services within all agency areas involved. Eliminating the current vacant administrative positions within each agency thus allowing for those dollars to increase the number of fire and ems service providers.

World Cup Avicii Mac Miller Stan Lee “Black Panther” Meghan Markle AnthonyBourdain Stephen Hawking

Tax Talks

Tax season is here! Mike Aebi will be discussing at our next Chamber Luncheon important tax information that you need to know.

Mike graduated from Western Oregon State College and Portland State University with a degree in accounting. He has been working in public accounting since 2005 and received his CPA license in 2008. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Mike and his business partner Chantel Williamson, co-own Williamson & Aebi, LLP. Their firm, which is located in Dallas, was established in 1971 and has served the public continuously for forty-six years. Both Chantel and Mike are readily available to answer your questions and are committed to providing you with a product that meets their high standards.  Click on their website below to look further into their services.

Join us at the Dallas Retirement Village, in the Cascade Conference Room with your tax questions. Mike will help you navigate through the tax changes for both your personal, and professional needs. Doors open at 11:30 with lunch line opening at 11:45. We are now accepting pre-registration to expedite the check-in process. If you have your login information you can preregister and pay by following our link.

Contact the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce with any questions or concerns you may have at (503) 623-2564.

We hope to see you there!

http://business.dallasoregon.org/events/details/chamber-luncheon-tax-talks-4640

https://www.williamsonaebi.com/

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Wake Up Wednesday News

Technical Genius Solutions

Is your computer running slow? Tempted to use your laptop as a Frisbee? This week only, Technical Genius Solutions is running a free computer diagnosis special. Bring your computer in and they will work hard to have it running like new!

https://tgsoregon.net/

 

West Valley Taphouse

Tap Takeover Thursday! Gigantic Brewing will be in the house from 6 pm to 9 pm showing off their beers and giving away free swag. While you are enjoying a good beer to order the Food Special; Roasted Squash Fondue. Roasted acorn squash filled with a Gruyere and Emmenthaler beer cheese fondue and breadcrumb topping!

Saturday is Timbers Championship Game at 5 pm. Wear your Timers colors for $1 off all drinks during the game!

West Valley Taphouse Christmas Tree is up! This year West Valley is holding a pajama drive. Help United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley give foster children a new set of pajamas this holiday season. You have until December 16th to get your pair under the tree.

Guys Shopping Night is coming up! West Valley Taphouse has partnered with Main St. Emporium to provide a way to have your beer, and get your holiday shopping done without spilling a drop. Main St. Emporium vendors will be visiting West Valley Taphouse to help pick out, pay, and gift wrap your gift to the special people in your life. Come on down!

http://westvalleytaphouse.com/

 

YoungPros

The last YoungPros of the 2018 series will be held this December 12th, at Focal Point Photography. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Gene Henshaw with Public Policy about how important it is that business members be involved in Public Policy.

YoungPros was able to assist with a scholarship that helps local Dallas High School students attend college. If you would like to help sponsor this scholarship then reach out to them. This is a great opportunity to support our community.

http://business.dallasoregon.org/events/details/young-pros-networking-2323

 

Washington Federal

The Giving Tree is up! This year Washington Federal will be helping CASA children. If you would like to help a family this holiday season, then stop on by and pick up a tag. Washington Federal Giving Tree will be running until December 21st.

https://www.washingtonfederal.com/locations/oregon/dallas

 

City of Dallas

Adopt of Family is still looking for sponsors. They have about 108 families adopted so far but need at least 115 more to meet their anticipated need. If you have a bowling group, office group, or other group that could work together to adopt a small, medium or large family to provide a food box and gifts for children, you can sign up by going to www.surveymonkey.com/r/DAAFHelp. Thank you for your Generous support!

 

Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce

State of the Chamber is the theme of our next Luncheon. Hear from JD, CEO, about what we have been busy working on this year while you are at work. This is also a great opportunity for our new members to learn what resources are available to them via Chamber Login, and Chamber staff. Don’t miss this chance to put “one more bullet in your Chamber.”

http://business.dallasoregon.org/events/details/chamber-luncheon-2332

United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley Pajama drive is still going. Our box is about half way full, but knowing our Dallas community we expect to see it over flowing. Bring in your new pajamas for infants, toddlers, kids, or teenagers before December 17th!

Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce is providing Christmas Cheer with peanut butter. They help those in need enjoy holiday food shopping Christmas Eve, and is a wonderful program. Drop off your jar of peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, before December 23rd.

 

Dallas Area Visitors Center

Santa Clause is coming to town!

Join us as we kick off the holiday season on the beautiful Polk County Courthouse lawn with Santa, tree lighting with our Mayor and First Citizen, food trucks, Christmas vendors, live music, hot cocoa, cookies, and more! This year we will be celebrating a good ol’ fashioned holiday season, complete with a Christmas Carol “sing-along.

Shop some great vendors such as Beal’s Christmas Tree Farm, Oregon Snowballs, Paparazzi, Banners by Jules, Scentsy, Color Me Shabby, Color Street, The Hat Place, and so many more!

Come on down for a jolly fun time and don’t miss your chance to visit the Big Man in Red!

For more information contact Shelly jones at (503) 623-2564 or at [email protected].

Cap and Trade – Carbon Issue

It is our observation that all bets are off on ‘Cap and Trade.’ Proponents are going to force a vote. The assurances of Senate leadership that ‘Cap and Trade’ will not move in 2018 are now being softened and walked back.

The Bill “Requires Environmental Quality Commission to adopt by rule program that places a cap on greenhouse gas emissions and that provides market-based mechanism for covered entities to demonstrate compliance.”

The reality is, adopting California’s cap-and-trade system would mean Oregon chasing its manufacturing and energy-intensive industries away just like California has since 2013. When California’s cap-and-trade system went into effect, California’s manufacturing sector suffered, leading to fewer manufacturing jobs. Outside of California’s wealthy enclaves, unemployment rates rocketed above national averages.

Oregon has already adopted strict new climate policies on transportation and electricity generation, from a Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which could add $.15 to the cost of a gallon of fuel, to directing Oregon’s largest utilities to divest entirely from coal. These groundbreaking climate policies need time to work without the burden of California’s cap-and-trade scheme.

We can’t continue to tell ourselves this is a non-issue in 2018.  We need to TAKE ACTION NOW.

 

The video and advocacy page – http://oregonchamber.org/capandtrade/ – need to be spread to every chamber and every chamber member throughout the state ASAP. Every local business needs to send a note to their legislator to oppose cap and trade now.

This issue affects us all.  Let our elected officials know how you’d like them to proceed.