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Ripon Fire gets school fees waived
Move saves district $14,000
A rendering of the new Ripon Consolidated Fire District station now under construction on North Ripon Road. - photo by Photo Contributed

Ripon Consolidated Fire District is building a new station in the Cornerstone subdivision.

The station is located on the northeast corner of town at 1705 N. Ripon Road. The fire district, independent of the City of Ripon, has requested waivers on Development Impact Fees from the various agencies on this $1.82 million project.

The Ripon Unified chipped in Monday, agreeing to waive the school fees estimated at over $14,000.

“We are striving to bring the project to completion on time and within budget,” Fire Chief Dennis Bitter said in his letter to the school board. “To do this, we are exploring every opportunity to save taxpayer dollars where possible.”

He added that infrastructure projects, as opposed to growth projects, are necessary to accommodate growth in the area.

Superintendent Bill Draa agreed, saying that RUSD students are part of that growth.

The substation is a 6,000-square-foot project made possible by old Redevelopment Agency funds.

The City of Ripon, meanwhile, is currently working on an amendment to the ordinance in which waiving or reducing of such fees – the fire district or other public agencies within the City – would be conducted on a case-by-case basis.

The City’s share of the Development Impact Fee comes to about $77,700. This includes local facilities fees (water, parks, library, garbage, etc.), building and engineering fees (building permits, building plan checks, and engineering), and other fees (school, fire, county facilities, and habitant mitigation).

At the previous council meeting, elected leaders agreed on a two-by-two meeting with fire district officials before bringing the ordinance back for a vote.

Council is scheduled to meet on Tuesday.

Once completed, the fire station will have living quarters, apparatus bays, meeting room and facilities for a police substation.

Plans had been in the works for over two years.

As for construction, Bitters recently indicated that work on the project was ahead of the 240-day construction schedule.