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  Consent-Community Services   #   21.    
Board of Supervisors Community Services  
Meeting Date: 01/26/2021  
Brief Title:    Dunnigan Fire Protection District Fee Waiver
From: Taro Echiburu, Director, Department of Community Services
Staff Contact: April Meneghetti, Director of Environmental Health, Department of Community Services, x8597

Subject
Consider request from the Dunnigan Fire Protection District to waive Environmental Health fees in an amount up to $2,907 for the installation of a new septic system or major repair of the existing septic system at the fire station; and, if approved, adopt the budget resolution requesting to increase the Environmental Health 2020-21 Budget up to $2,907 using General Fund Contingency funds to backfill the cost of services. (General fund impact $2,907) (4/5 vote required) (Echiburu/Meneghetti)
Recommended Action
  1. Consider request from the Dunnigan Fire Protection District to waive Environmental Health fees up to $2,907 for the installation of a new septic system or major repair of the existing septic system at the fire station; and
     
  2. If the Board approves the request, adopt the budget resolution requesting to increase the Environmental Health 2020-21 Budget up to $2,907 using General Fund Contingency funds to backfill the waiver of the fees.
Strategic Plan Goal(s)
Thriving Residents
Safe Communities
Sustainable Environment
Reason for Recommended Action/Background
The Dunnigan Fire Protection District has requested a fee waiver for the Environmental Health fees for the installation of a new septic system or major repair of the existing septic system at the fire station located at 29145 Main Street, Dunnigan (Attachment A).

The existing septic system at the fire station is failing.  A major repair of the existing system or the installation of a new septic system is required to protect the health of the public.  The fire station site and the existing septic system are currently being evaluated by a qualified septic professional and Environmental Health to determine if the existing septic system can be repaired or if a new septic system is needed.
The following table itemized the fees related to the requested fee waiver:
 
Highest Possible Fees required
Site Evaluation $1,021.00
Property Line Setback Reduction $174.00
Septic Installation Permit for non-standard Pressure Dose (PD) system $1,389.00
Operating Permit $323.00
Total $2,907.00
 
Lowest Possible Fees required:
Site Evaluation $1,021.00
Property Line Setback Reduction $174.00
Septic System Variance (Variance Request to install a gravity instead of a PD) $646.00
Major Repair Installation Permit for a gravity system (replacement of leach field) $837.00
 
Total $2,678.00

The County Administrative Policy and Procedures Manual, policy on Cost Recovery and Fees states "no board-approved fees or charges can be reduced or waived without the specific approval of the Board of Supervisors" (Attachment
B). The policy requires staff to evaluate the fee waiver request based on specific criteria in the policy. Consistent with this policy, staff has evaluated the fee waiver request and submits the following findings as per Section C(3)(b).
  1. The total amount of the reduction requested and approved reductions in the past: The total amount of the fee waiver is up to $2,907.00. Staff searched available records for the past 10 years and was unable to find requests during this time period for a fee waiver by the Dunnigan Fire Protection District.
  2. In regard to fees related to construction projects, a finding that the waiver or reduction does not create a public work : The requested fee waiver and granting of the fee waiver does not create a public work. 
  3. A finding that the waiver or reduction does not create a [unconstitutional] gift of public funds: All fee waivers constitute gifts of public funds. However, the relevant issue is whether the gift of public funds is unconstitutional because it is not used for a public purpose. The fee waiver is requested by the Dunnigan Fire Protection District, a public agency, which provides firefighting and medical emergency services to the public. Therefore granting of the fee waiver will not create an unconstitutional gift of public funds. 
  4. A finding that the fee meets at least one of the criteria listed in Section C(2)(a) of the Policy on Cost Recovery and Fees, Yolo County Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual [relating to fees for permitting costs and related factors] in regard to the payor: The fees requested for waiver meet at least one of the criteria, as they pertain to fees typically collected for reasonable regulatory costs incidental to the issuance of permits and performance of inspections. The fee amounts listed in the tables above reimburse costs directly related to the functions of reviewing and issuing permits and performing inspections.
  5. A finding that describes one or more of the following: 
i. The payment of the fee would cause economic hardship (defined in U.S. treasury regulations as the inability to meet reasonable basic living expenses) due to the financial condition of the payor. The Dunnigan Fire District has not provided any information indicating that the payment of these fees would cause an economic hardship.
ii. The payor is making a net economic contribution to the County that exceeds the amount of the fee; or is providing uncompensated services to the County that are of comparable value to the fee. The Dunnigan Fire Protection District is a combination fire department, with both paid and volunteer firefighters. They provide "All Hazards Response", which includes (but is not limited to): fires of all types, emergency medical services, vehicle accidents, public assistance, emergency stand-byes, and hazardous materials response- first responder level. As such, the Dunnigan Fire Protection District provides uncompensated services to the County that are of comparable value to the proposed fee waiver.
iii.  The payor engages in activities that specifically advance the County's strategic goals. Installation of the new septic system or repair of the existing septic system at the fire station is needed to protect the health of the public, protect water quality and to allow the Dunnigan Fire Protection District to have a continuously manned fire station that can respond to emergencies 24 hours a day. In this way, the Dunnigan Fire Protection District's request advances the County's Strategic Plan Goal for Thriving Residents by protecting consumers from public health threats; and Safe Communities by addressing service delivery and critical infrastructure needs in unincorporated communities; and Sustainable Environment by protecting water quality.

Based on the above findings, the Board of Supervisors has the discretion to grant the requested fee waiver. The Community Services Department budget does not contemplate fee waivers and its overhead allocation is insufficient to cover the requested amount. Therefore should the Board wish to grant the Dunnigan Fire Protection District the requested fee waiver, staff recommends that the Board authorize a General Fund transfer to the Department's budget in the amount of the corresponding direct costs associated with the request (up to $2,907.00).
Collaborations (including Board advisory groups and external partner agencies)
Dunnigan Fire Protection District
County Counsel
Department of Financial Services

Fiscal Information
Fiscal impact (see budgetary detail below)
Fiscal Impact of this Expenditure
Total cost of recommended action $2,907
Amount budgeted for expenditure $0
Additional expenditure authority needed $0
One-time commitment     Yes
Source of Funds for this Expenditure
General Fund $2,907
Further explanation as needed
The cost of the requested fee waiver pays for direct and indirect cost associated with plan review and approval, inspections, tools and equipment, and other related costs as per County adopted fees.
 
Attachments
Att. A. Fee Waiver Request
Att. B. Policy on Cost Recovery and Fees
Att. C. Budget Resolution

Form Review
Inbox Reviewed By Date
Leslie Lindbo Leslie Lindbo 12/23/2020 08:19 AM
Taro Echiburu Taro Echiburu 01/04/2021 09:31 AM
County Counsel Hope Welton 01/05/2021 09:45 AM
Financial Services Shelby Milliren 01/08/2021 12:03 PM
Shelby Milliren Shelby Milliren 01/13/2021 11:31 AM
County Counsel Hope Welton 01/13/2021 11:32 AM
Charlie Tschudin Charlie Tschudin 01/13/2021 11:43 AM
Form Started By: April Meneghetti Started On: 12/22/2020 09:29 AM
Final Approval Date: 01/13/2021
Level double AA conformance,
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