New development will not help

Rod Flohr, Brentwood May 16, 2019

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Editor: Blackhawk-Nunn ran a full-page ad in the Brentwood Press touting how the money their project will put towards the fire district will help make us safer.

Please read the text of the initiative to see the truth for yourself.

Page 1, section 5 of the initiative states, “Development of the Specific Plan Area will also be required to pay fire facilities fees and, based on the current fee schedule, buildout of the Specific Plan Area will generate approximately ($2 million) in new funding for the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.”

($2 million) trickling into the system over 20 years will not help keep us safer. Think about it. This is enough to buy less than three houses in Shadow Lakes. We have been told it takes $17 million a year to adequately provide coverage just for Brentwood.

Over the course of 20 years, that is $340 million. ($2 million) is less than 0.6 percent of what it would cost to protect this city and provide emergency services, yet this project expands the city size by 11 percent.

The real truth is that adding houses makes our situation worse. The fees do not cover the added responsibilities the new houses place on the fire district. The reason for this involves a rural allocation imposed on our ever more urban fire district.

How that all works is complicated to explain, but please just consider this – Brentwood has consistently been one of the fastest-growing cities in California. If building more houses were the way to fix the problems with the response times, we would have no problem.

Instead, it seems the more houses we build, the worse the problem gets. So, in direct contradiction of the developer’s claims, this project will not improve our fire safety issues. It will make them worse.