The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors has agreed to begin the process of making minor staff reductions at California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection stations here.
Local fire officials have now put forth a plan to deal with increasing costs and the fact that CDF will be moving from its Sonora station to a station at Standard and Tuolumne Roads in 2004.
The idea, officials say, is to make the necessary changes while maintaining the same levels of service for the Sonora, Standard, and Jamestown areas. Some positions will either be eliminated or cut back to seasonal employment.
Even though the staff reductions will be minor, the CDF Firefighters Union is concerned. €œThere is an overall reduction of personnel in the entire plan,” said Lynn Duncan with the union. “Granted it€™s minimum, but what is it going to do to the morale of the personnel who are working there?€
The cost of the county€™s contract with CDF is expected to increase from about $900,000 this year to about $1.2 million by the fiscal year ending in 2006.
Also under the plan, once the Sonora CDF Station is closed in 2004, some of the firefighters there will go to the Mono Village Station, and some will go to the Jamestown Station.
The new CDF contracts and the plan won´t be finalized, most likely, until next spring.