Measure H can help ensure rapid fire response

The cost of fire service has risen steeply in the 10 years since the town’s first Measure H passed — providing $300,000 in annual revenue for the Colma Fire Protection District — so fire officials are turning once again to the voters for more.

Measure H, if approved by two-thirds of the voters, would increase a property tax levied on Colma and Broadmoor Village homeowners from $50 to $150 annually. The boost would provide an additional $280,000, providing a total of $580,000 in annual revenue. Businesses would also be required to pay 13 cents per square foot of business size annually, as opposed to 12 cents, for the tax.

Response times have been good, remaining at the target four minutes on average, fire Chief Geoffrey Balton said. The additional funds would ensure that the response time stays at that level or better, he said.

Things have fallen by the wayside since the department, 36 strong, has been operating under a deficit. All employees are technically volunteers — and get paid $13 to $18 per hour each time they respond to a call — but receive medical benefits and workers compensation coverage. The department sees an average of 700 calls per year, Balton said.

Balton said the single station, located at 50 Reiner St., is more than enough, but he would like to see services expanded within their current facilities. Programs and operations, not necessarily facilities, are the focus, he said.

There is no organized opposition to the measure, in either Colma or Broadmoor Village. The Town Council, at its meeting this week, approved a resolution in support of Measure H. Taxes are collected from the same group of property owners, but there are no general fund revenues dedicated to the fire department, Balton said.

Broadmoor residents, including Ralph Hutchens, vice president of the Broadmoor Property Owners Association, have publicly supported the tax boost in the interest of continuing fire and medical services.

tramroop@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Outdoor dining, as seen here at Mama’s on Washington Square in North Beach in September, is expected to resume in San Franisco this week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF to reopen outdoor dining, personal services

San Francisco will allow outdoor dining and other limited business activity to… Continue reading

Patients line up in their cars to receive a shot at The City’s first mass COVID-19 vaccination site at City College of San Francisco on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Legislation would require SF to create a public COVID-19 vaccine plan — fast

San Francisco’s Department of Public Health would have to come up with… Continue reading

Ian Jameson (center) organized a group of tenant rights activists and assembled at the El Monte City Hall to demand that the City Council there pass an eviction moratorium barring all evictions during the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, March 29, 2020. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
California would extend eviction protections to June 30 under proposal

Legislation released Monday would also subsidize rent for low-income tenants

A statue of Florence Nightingale outside the Laguna Honda Hospital is one of only two statues of women in The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
S.F. still falling short of goal to represent women in public art

City has few streets or public facilities not named after men

Comedian and actor Bob Odenkirk is among the dozens of performers in Festpocalypse, streaming this weekend to benefit SF Sketchfest. (Courtesy photo)
Bob Odenkirk joins star-studded Festpocalypse gang

Virtual comedy benefit replaces SF Sketchfest this year

Most Read