By Mike Bush
Mother Lode News
To increase fire prevention fees or not by the Cameron Park Fire Department was the question asked last month during the Cameron Park Community Service District’s Board of Directors meeting.
The answer was a unanimous 5-0 vote in favor of increases in 50 categories. The meeting was the second hearing to allow public input about proposed changes and increases to the fees; the first meeting was held last month. The passage make the fees effective immediately.
Battalion Fire Chief Mike Webb presented the fees and “side by side documents” of increased fees to directors and audience members. The fees collected are used for fire prevention activities, such as teaching education programs in schools, Webb said.
“All fire departments are required to enforce these codes by law,” Chief Webb said. “The laws also allow for fees to be collected to defray the costs. The service provides plan checks, fire code analysis, protection system (such as sprinkler and alarm) certification and occupancy inspections.”
The last time fees were increased was in 2005. The fees are nowhere near the “astronomical” numbers that neighboring areas such as El Dorado Hills and Sacramento Metro and Elk Grove fire departments charge, Webb noted.
“Cameron Park’s fees have been very low and remain low after this increase,” Webb said. “When compared to neighboring districts and regionally, we are still the best deal in town.”
Some areas that will increase are new buildings that require two inspections for $195 — the previous fee was $100 based on a $50 an hour rate. A tenant improvement goes to $130; it was $50 based on a $25 an hour rate.
One notable item is the fire sprinkler systems that require two inspections; 25-99 heads is three hours work that comes out to $195. More than 100 is four hours work and the fee is $260.