City of Grover Beach logoDuring the Grover Beach City Council meeting on June 12, Council approved a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) agreement for an amended and restated Five Cities Fire Authority (FCFA).

“This updated JPA agreement reflects our unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our residents, businesses and visitors,” said Grover Beach Mayor Karen Bright. “This effort will provide the necessary reinstatement for fire and emergency medical resources to ensure the well-being and safety of the entire region.”

The amended JPA agreement was prompted by the proposed withdrawal of the Oceano Community Services District (OCSD) from FCFA, effective July 1. The withdrawal triggered an evaluation process for the JPA and fire services in Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande. Based on Baker Tilly’s evaluation, the firm recommended a new draft agreement involving a two-city JPA between Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach, including new provisions for service levels and staffing.

The new JPA provides an updated structure on governance, executive management, authority positions, fire stations, property and equipment and cost breakdowns. The agreement also allows for the admission and withdrawal of member agencies while ensuring continued payment of liabilities.

To ensure effective policy oversight, the JPA established a four-member Board of Directors to guide the FCFA. The Board will consist of two representatives from each City, with a Chair and Vice Chair appointed by their respective cities. Council Member Weirick and Council Member Rushing were selected to represent Grover Beach on the FCFA Board, and Mayor Ray Russom and Council Member George were appointed to represent Arroyo Grande.

Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande have also approved proposed agreements to provide temporary fire and emergency medical services to OCSD for a year as one of the first actions of the JPA.

“The approved FCFA JPA agreement reflects our collective efforts to establish a robust framework for addressing fire and emergency medical needs,” said Grover Beach City Manager Matt Bronson. “This partnership with Arroyo Grande to support the Five Cities Fire Authority will ensure that our community continues to receive reliable and efficient fire and emergency medical services.”

The amended and restated JPA agreement went into effect on June 22, coinciding with the first meeting of the new FCFA Board. At the meeting, the Board approved the temporary service agreement to deliver fire and emergency medical services to OCSD through June 30, 2024.