GRANTS PASS, Ore-- On Saturday, Rural Metro Fire announced their support of a new Rural Fire Protection District (RFPD) that will be on the May 2021 ballot. The new district will be just on the outskirts of Grants Pass.
According to Rural Metro Fire, the measure will convert the area outside of Grants Pass, from subscription-based fire protection memberships, into a publicly-funded and citizen-regulated service area.
Rural Metro says ultimately, the success of the measure will create a RFPD led by a 5-member voluntary citizen board completely independent of Josephine County government. According to Rural Metro Fire, this measure is not applicable to city residents or those already inside of existing RFPD’s.
Rural Metro Fire says that the new RFPD will create public accountability, will achieve a better annual rate, allow for more stable funding, will allow for more district-wide service improvements and would make Rural Metro Fire more secure.
For public accountability, Rural Metro states that with a new RFPD, concerns will be addressed on how a person's money is spent, and will ensure that personnel who come into a customer's home day or night, or whether someone is home or not, is properly given a background check and the necessary training to handle a given situation.
Rural Metro also states that the rate for the proposed RFPS will be lower than the annual rate that Rural Metro Fire has for 11,000 of its customers. According to the organization, the rate would drop from $1.94/$1,000 to $1.74/$1,000 and because of the number of homeowners this represents, many could see a 10% cost savings, which is also tax deductible
And for district-wide improvements, Rural Metro Fire says , "With the new RFPD Board, they anticipate approval to continue with strategic planning initiatives that include the creation of additional full-time jobs, a 30% increase in 24-hour staffing at existing stations, upgrades in equipment and infrastructure, and construction of stations that may help outlying properties receive reduced response times and improve discounts on homeowner insurance premiums."