About Loma Rica/Browns Valley Community Services District

The Loma Rica/Browns Valley Community Services District (District) is responsible for providing fire protection, first responder medical aid, and rescue assistance to the communities of Loma Rica and Browns Valley. Currently the Loma Rica/Browns Valley Fire Department has a staff of seven volunteers and is augmented by firefighters from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Together, they provide 24 hour, 7 day a week coverage.
The District has three stations, Station 61, located on Loma Rica Road, and Station 62, located on Browns Valley School Road, as well the new newest addition, Station 63. Station 61 is a bi-agency facility, shared between the District and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF). Through the Amador contract, Station 61 is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. In addition to the CDF attack engine, Station 61 houses the District attack engine and one structure engine. Station 62 is not currently staffed and is used to house the District water tender and one structure engine.

In 2019, after years of fiscal management and assistance from Yuba County Building Department, a third station project was successfully bid. Construction was started in early May by Frank Webb Construction. With the addition of this Fire Station the District hopes to provide a more efficient response time and decrease in insurance rates to its citizens living near the fire station.

The History of the District

The County of Yuba does not provide fire service to its residents. All fire departments within the county are independent entities and, except for those agencies in existence prior to the passage of Proposition 13 in the late 1970's, must be funded by a direct assessment imposed on the residents residing within each independent district
CDF has maintained a seasonal fire station in Loma Rica for many years. Into the 1980's, this station was only open during the state's wild land fire season, typically running from late May or early June to late September or early October. Within the community, a small group of volunteers, using antiquated equipment (which they parked at their homes), were the sole providers of fire suppression and medical aid services for those months CDF was absent and for any incidents to which CDF was unable to respond or needed assistance. Funding was provided by charitable contributions, bake sales, etc.

  • 1984
    Believing that the area needed a higher level of service, a group of local residents began the work of forming an independent fire district and in 1985 a ballot measure was placed before the voters of the Loma Rica and Browns Valley communities. The proposal was successful and resulted in the formation of the Loma Rica / Browns Valley Community Services District. The vote mandated that the District provide fire, rescue, and medical aid services, established a governing board of 5 members, each elected to 4 year terms, and created a funding assessment of 3 cents per square foot for all residential and commercial structures with a maximum annual assessment of $40 per assessed structure.
  • 1991
    It became apparent that increasing population and emergency calls coupled with a declining volunteer force posed a formidable challenge to the District's ability to provide necessary services. After several months of public meetings, the District chose to pursue and enter into a contract (generally referred to as an Amador contract and limited in availability) with CDF to keep the Loma Rica station open and staffed for the entire year. The original contract cost was approximately $28,000. In order to fund the contract, the annual assessment maximum was increased to $80 per assessed structure.
  • 1997
    Following passage of Proposition 218 (November 1996) which requires all property assessments to be approved by a 2/3 vote of the electorate, the District directors determined that the voters within the community should have the opportunity to confirm or reject the 1991 board action raising the maximum annual assessment from $40 to $80. The increase was confirmed.
  • 1999
    The District enters into a bi-agency co-operative agreement with CDF to construct the current Loma Rica station and operate as a two-agency facility.
  • 2000
    Faced with continually rising operating costs coupled with no change to the original 3-cent assessment for 15 years, the District places before the voters a proposal to include an annual cost of living adjustment. The cost of living adjustment is to be based on the lower of two indexes - Consumer Price Index or the Cost Index used by Social Security. It was estimated that the average residence would see an annual increase of $3.65 to $3.85. The proposal was overwhelmingly defeated.
  • 2004
    Struggling with inadequate revenue to continue funding the Amador contract, the District holds several town hall meetings to discuss options and determine community wishes concerning revenue increases. Based on the input provided at these meetings as well as continuing revenue requirements, the District places before voters a proposal, Measure B, to raise the square foot assessment from 3 cents to 6 cents and raise the annual maximum structure assessment from $80 to $200. The proposal fails to garner the required 2/3 majority.
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