The Big Bear Fire Authority has given the Sugarloaf Fire Station a reprieve. It’s a Band-Aid funded by more than $1 million from reserves to keep all three staffed Big Bear Fire Department stations open.

The fix is good for the 2019-20 budget year at which time the board must decide whether to continue spending reserves or close the station.

“I still don’t like spending reserves,” said Dave Caretto as he made a motion to approve the budget during the June 4 Big Bear Fire Authority meeting.

Board member Larry Walsh said he refuses to approve deficit spending, voting against the budget, which passed with a 9-1 vote.

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The Community Facilities District is the correct vehicle to use along with the TOT tax to provide future funding for the Fire Authority. I would encourage the adoption of a lower fee together with an explanation of how the funds will be spent and for how long these fees will continue to support the Authority. In plain English, when to expect more tax increases?

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