SAMOA PENINSULA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT REORGANIZATION

PROCESS TO DATE:

Informational Meeting: The Samoa Peninsula FPD hosted an informational meeting on April 26, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairhaven Fire Station. LAFCo attended and answered questions about the reorganization process, public hearing, and timeline.

Public Hearing: LAFCo held a public hearing on Monday, May 15, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors Chamber to consider the proposed Reorganization of the Samoa Peninsula FPD to a Community Services District (CSD). The Commission approved the reorganization proposal, subject to terms and conditions as set forth in LAFCo Resolution No. 17-08.

Protest Hearing: The LAFCo Executive Officer held a protest hearing on June 28, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. at the Fairhaven Fire Station to receive written protests from registered voters within the area proposed for reorganization. The protest hearing resulted in four (4) written protests out of a total of 222 registered voters.  Pursuant to State law, sufficient protest and termination of the proposal requires 50% or more of the registered voters within the subject territory to protest. Without sufficient protest for termination, the reorganization is subject to confirmation by voters at the November election.

Election:
At the upcoming November 7th election, voters in the communities of Samoa, Fairhaven and Finntown will be asked to vote in favor or against the proposed reorganization (Measure Z). A majority of votes cast in favor of the measure is needed to approve the reorganization. If the measure fails to receive majority voter approval, the reorganization will be terminated and the existing Samoa Peninsula FPD will remain unchanged.

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS:
Impartial Analysis of Measure Z
LAFCo Resolution No. 17-08 Approving the Reorganization
Protest hearing notice to Landowners and Registered Voters (05-31-17)
Public Hearing notice to Landowners and Registered Voters (04-20-17)
Proposed CSD Boundary Figure
Management Plan for Proposed CSD

SUMMARY OF REORGANIZATION PROPOSAL
Part of LAFCo’s charge is to oversee local governmental boundary changes by approving or disapproving the formation, expansion, or dissolution of cities and special districts. LAFCo has received a proposal, submitted by resolution of application from the Samoa Peninsula Fire Protection District (SPFPD), for what is known as a “reorganization” consisting of dissolution of the SPFPD and formation of a new community services district (CSD). As proposed, the SPFPD would be reorganized to a CSD for purposes of providing expanded municipal services to the peninsula, including the new water and wastewater facilities to be constructed as part of the phased development plans for the town of Samoa.

State law limits what services a fire protection district may provide. The proposed reorganization of the SPFPD into a CSD would provide the necessary governance structure to retain the existing volunteer fire department and expand the type of services peninsula residents may receive. The new CSD would be named “successor agency” for purposes of winding up the affairs of the SPFPD, carrying out all authorized duties and responsibilities, and overseeing the extension or continuation of any previously authorized assessment or tax in the affected territory. As such, all existing tax-related revenue that currently supports fire protection services would be transferred to the new CSD to support the continued operation of the volunteer fire department. Any new services to be provided by the CSD would require new sources of revenue, such as benefit assessments and user fees, which require landowner approval in accordance with Proposition 218 requirements.

The proposed CSD would provide the following services:

  • Water
  • Wastewater
  • Fire Protection, Rescue, & Emergency Response (including tsunami evacuation)
  • Parks, Recreation, Trails, and Open Space
  • Landscape Maintenance within Public Areas
  • Streets and Street Maintenance
  • Storm Drainage

The proposed boundary of the CSD would be consistent with the current SPFPD boundary and sphere of influence, with minor adjustments to account for public lands and tax rate areas. In addition, the SPFPD Board of Directors is proposed to serve as the initial CSD Board of Directors. For this initial board, the terms of three members will be four years, and the terms of two members will be two years. Thereafter, Board members shall be elected at-large for four year terms by registered voters residing within the District.

Because the District consists of distinct communities (Fairhaven/Finntown and town of Samoa), which have varying infrastructure needs, conditions, planned improvements and service requirements, the CSD is proposed to have two separate zones for some of the services proposed. Doing so addresses the unique features of each, with separate operating budgets, rates, fees, and assessments. It is anticipated that initially, water, wastewater, and storm drainage services for the town of Samoa would be associated with separate zones, whereas fire protection and recreation services would be provided district-wide.

Please direct comments, questions, and requests to review documents to Humboldt LAFCo, 1125 16th Street, Suite 202, Arcata, California 95521. Project application materials may be reviewed upon request at the LAFCo office on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.  For further information, please contact the LAFCo office at (707) 445-7508.