May 13, 2015 8:05 PM by Charlene Cheng
Layoffs are coming for the Shasta Lake Fire Protection District, a decision that Interim Chief Dennis Beck says is unavoidable.
With the housing market dropping in recent years, so did dollars for the department.
99% of the district's annual $1 million budget is funded through property taxes.
"Our board and previous chief basically did everything possible to not have this happen. We're down to a point where we just can't support our current operation," Interim Chief Beck said.
Laying off three engineers, and not filling the battalion chief training officer position that has been vacant since January, will save the district about $350,000.
But those savings will come at a steep cost.
The remaining five full-time employees and 15 volunteers will have to handle the 1,300 calls that come in every year.
"The volunteers have already stepped up and realized they have to show up to more stuff. The folks that are sticking around know it's going to be a little different. We have a new normal, unfortunately," Interim Chief Beck said.
6 hours ago