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Ripon city, fire district explore funding options

 The Ripon City Council has scheduled a special session Tuesday with the Ripon Consolidated Fire Protection District.

The joint meeting will take place at 1 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 259 N. Wilma Ave. Due to occupancy, seating in the Chambers will be limited to the first 25 people – those in attendance must abide by the CDC protocol of social distancing.

The special session will continue to be made available via livestreaming. Click on to

Both boards requested the joint meeting as a way of beginning discussion of the fiscal challenges of the RCFD, as well as what role, if any, the City should place to assist with ensuring that the fire district continues to provide the same high level of service to the residents and local businesses.

Voters in June 2018 rejected the Measure A parcel tax measure designed to raise $1.2 million a year to staff the Ripon Consolidated Fire District station on River Road fulltime. The tax was proposed at $125 per home. The parcel tax was proposed on top of existing property tax that went into effect in 1985.

The district in 2018 was seeking to raise $1.2 million a year to allow the new station in northeast Ripon to have 24/7 staffing with nine fulltime firefighters as opposed to the hit and miss with volunteer staffing.

A critical component in manning he station is the majority of a fire department’s calls are related to medical emergencies.

Having a second manned ambulance at the River Road location would serve two purposes. Not only would it lead to faster response times to existing development in the northeast section of Ripon including Colony oak, Ripona and Park View schools along with Mistlin Sport Park but if the ambulance at Stockton Avenue is tied up on a call it would provide a second unit manned 24/7 that could respond anywhere within the district.
The River Road station was built in a location to cover the bulk of the city where future development is occurring as well as to reduce response times to residents in need of help in the eastern section of Ripon.

Those expected to be in attendance are Mayor Jake Parks, Vice Mayor Daniel de Graaf, Councilman Dean Uecker, Councilman Mike Restuccia, Councilman Leo Zuber, and City Attorney Tom Terpstra from the City.

Chief Dennis Bitters will lead RCFD followed by Chairman Bryce Perkins, Vice Chairman Harrison Gibbs, Secretary Tamra Spade, and board members’ Don Wever and Matt Cultera.

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