Kern County Cities Agree to Pay More for Fire Services
Three Kern County cities have agreed to pay more for services rendered by the Kern County Fire Department (KCFD), with more expected to follow.
Contracts to be considered by the Kern County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 5 would implement the following increases by 2027:
- $1.1 million more annually for Delano
- $383,241 more annually for Wasco
- $119,496 more annually for Shafter
Nine cities currently contract with KCFD for services. An independent analysis by the Center for Public Safety Management found they were significantly underpaying. As a result, KCFD was losing around $10 million per year. Budget gaps led to decaying equipment and staffing shortages.
Negotiations went on for almost a year. Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop said he expects more cities to acquiesce.
“(We’re) pleased with the direction that we’re headed, pleased with the collaboration and support we’ve received from contract cities,” he told Bakersfield.com. “It’s been quite a heavy lift, but an important one that needs to get done, and I am excited for the future of our fire department and the men and women who work there.”