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Gridley Herald

Live Oak to Get Fire Training Site

May 01, 2024 10:35AM ● By Mitch Barber
Live Oak Fire Department. Photo courtesy of City of Live Oak

LIVE OAK, CA (MPG) - Advance planning on fire projects and inventory took precedence at the April 17 Live Oak City Council.

Battalion Chief Richard Epperson presented a slide show on what could be Live Oak’s training center for future generations. Decision was also taken to order a new pumper engine on a five-year wait list.

The training site will cost about $350,000. Work will take approximately 20 weeks, Epperson said, adding Live Oak “could get thousands of fires out of it.” Fire control certified instructors could be trained there. Discussion included when to get an electric gate.

Fire training project funding to begin immediately was unanimously approved.

Interim Live Oak City Manager Mark Scott discussed Live Oak investment in a new pumper engine for the fire department at the March 20 meeting. At that meeting, it was stated “Council was told costs for new engines were going up quarterly, the current price being $898,000 with a 48- to 52-month wait time.”  Brad Hanson, a sales representative of Golden State Fire Apparatus, made an informational presentation explaining there is a 6,000-engine backup and only 1.500 engines can be built in a year. New emission standards will go into effect in January 2028, and with that, an additional $110,000 will be added to the cost. The city was informed that the price would be $850,000 if it prepays now and $998,000 if it buys later.

Scott suggested the city buy it on the first option of the financing package presented, with a first payment in two years, and on a 10-year payment plan. The equipment will cost nearly $1 million before the prepayment discount. Alternatively, he said, “the city could have looked into doing it with its own financing but we are not recommending that. This looks like good financing.”

Scott said that it is a high-quality Pierce engine, which “allows us to save quite a few more dollars on this project.”

The council was enthusiastic about going forward with the project and unanimously approved the recommendation.

There were no public comments.

Scott requested that the next agenda have a closed session on permanent city manager recruitment.

In other business, Scott asked if the council was ready for a food trucks and sidewalk vendors discussion.

“We need to see how law has changed and bring council up-to-speed at state level,” Scott said. “You can’t forbid or prohibit them anymore but you can do ‘time, place and manner’ (for allowing them). You do have a right to prohibit. I can put it on the agenda to have that discussion.”

Scott also briefly addressed water rates.

“On a future agenda, I will talk to you about the water study. The one real weakness in the budget is the water enterprise and whether or not the council decides to change rates,” Scott said. “I will raise in a future agenda how we would go about doing that. We have to have policy on how council is dealing with that.”

In City Councilmember reports, Lakhvir Ghag commented on traffic islands at the entrance to the city that are “super dangerous” and “extremely dangerous, if you are not watching. People hit the curb but they don’t report this.”

“Pennington Road is not safe at all; drivers proceed so fast,” Ghag added.

Ghag reported that the Sutter Yuba Mosquito and Vector Control organization started the dead bird program.

“If you find a dead bird, turn it in and they will dissect it. If it died from a mosquito, they can determine what it was and whether it was diseased,” Ghag said.

Vice-Mayor Nancy Santana noted the passing of her mentor, Paula Ford, a 12-year alumni of the Live Oak Council.

Ghag said that Jerry Dollins from a local well-known large family also passed.

Mayor Ashley Hernandez reported she attended a Pioneer Energy meeting, saying it can offer residents cheaper electricity rates thanr PG&E.

City Council held a moment of silence at the end of the meeting for Jerry Dollins and Paula Ford.