NEW FIRE STATION ON WAY; NORTH RANCH TO GET IMPROVED RESPONSE.
Ventura County is planning to spend $2 million to add some fire protection muscle to its eastern reaches, including building the first fire station in the North Ranch area of Thousand Oaks.
Drawing from Fire Protection District trust funds, supervisors on Tuesday are expected to appropriate $1.58 million for construction of a new 7,000- to 7,500-square-foot facility at Kanan and Upper Ranch roads, a new engine to be housed in the single-bay facility and additional equipment.
An additional $465,000 from the county's trust fund is also expected to be used to buy a new engine and make improvements to Station 42 in Moorpark.
Fire officials hope to sell one of Moorpark's older engines for about $7,500.
With construction of the new station, firefighters will be able to maintain a response time under five minutes for North Ranch and the Lang Ranch development area in east Thousand Oaks.
``It's important as far as response time,'' said Dave Festerling, the county's deputy fire chief.
Those areas are served by stations 31 and 36 on Duesenberg Drive and in Oak Park, respectively. Both stations are several miles away from the North Ranch and Lang Ranch areas.
Construction of the North Ranch station will necessitate the hiring of nine additional full-time personnel, to be funded in the fiscal year 1998-99 budget.
``The trust fund fee money does not pay for ongoing operating expenses,'' said Abbe Cohen, the fire district's fiscal manager.
The fire district has been eyeing a new station in North Ranch since the mid-1980s, when Prudential Insurance Co. of America gave the city $450,000 to pay for a portion of the costs as well as the two-thirds-acre parcel on which the building will sit.
The company has been developing that area for two decades.
But Thousand Oaks officials did not have enough money in the trust fund until recently.
The trust fund was established by the county in 1983, accumulating money from developers' fees to pay for fire protection improvements from Camarillo east to the Los Angeles County line.
Thousand Oaks adopted the measure but set up its own account, despite the fact that no money may be spent without supervisors' approval and that the money in the account could be used for improvements outside the city.
That trust fund contains only $1 million, however, so the station could not be constructed without Prudential's help.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Apr 18, 1998|
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