A comprehensive report delivered to the Moraga-Orinda Fire District said that two facilities, Fire Stations 43 and 41, do not meet seismic and American’s with Disability Act requirements, and that both stations are in need of renovation.
In an MOFD release, Public Information Officer Mike Mentink writes that “Fire Station 43, located at the corner of Las Cruces and Honey Hill Roads in Orinda, is close to seventy years old. It does not meet minimum seismic requirements and lacks adequate space for personnel and modern fire equipment.”
The MOFD board of directors has made replacement of the aging fire house its first priority. The latest cost for the project — reduced by the economic downturn’s effect on construction companies — has dropped from a 2009 estimate of $6 million estimate to slightly less than $3 million.
The board ranked the renovation of Fire Station 41 in Moraga as its second-highest priority, and said addressing the administrative office needs of the district is its third priority. The need for a district training facility was MOFD's fourth highest priority, although it was acknowledged that the need, while high, probably will not be addressed in the immediate future.
In addition to retrofittingStation 43, District Fire Chief Randy Bradley told the MOFD Board that Station 41 needs more space to accommodate firefighters of both genders and that purchasing an office building will “…free-up needed space at Station 41 and locate all of the administrative personnel in one place to improve efficiencies and reduce personnel costs.”
The projects will be paid for through the District’s Special Revenue Fund. Also known as the “Fire Flow Tax,” the funds are earmarked for fire protection, emergency service equipment and water-distribution facilities. The tax, approved in Orinda in 1997 when the MOFD was formed, is applied by parcel and calculated by multiplying the current tax rate by a fire-risk flow factor. Homes with automatic sprinkler systems receive discounted rates.
Public meetings on the projects will be held and comments from Chief Bradley will be added to this post as they are received.