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File #: 20-7055    Version: 1
Type: Consent
In control: City Council/Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency/Public Financing Authority/Parking Authority Concurrent
Final action:
Title: TERMINATION OF SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY REGIONAL FIRE DISPATCH AUTHORITY AMENDED AND RESTATED JOINT EXERCISE OF POWER AGREEMENT
Attachments: 1. Proposed Resolution - JPA, 2. Exhibit 1 - Amended & Restated Joint Exercise of Power Agreement

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TERMINATION OF SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY REGIONAL FIRE DISPATCH AUTHORITY AMENDED AND RESTATED JOINT EXERCISE OF POWER AGREEMENT

 

recommended action

RECOMMENDATION

 

It is recommended that the City Council adopt a resolution authorizing the City Manager to terminate the Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Power Agreement (JPA) (Exhibit 1 to the Resolution) with the San Joaquin County Regional Fire Dispatch Authority effective June 30, 2021, pending a majority vote of the JPA Board. Alternatively, should either Council or the JPA Board not vote to terminate, the City of Stockton (COS) will issue notice that it desires to withdraw from the JPA and will issue notice to terminate its contracted dispatch services to the JPA members pursuant to the terms of the Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Power Agreement.

 

It is further recommended that the City Manager be authorized to take appropriate and necessary actions to carry out the purpose and intent of this resolution.

 

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Summary

 

On June 23, 2015, the COS adopted a resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a joint exercise of power agreement between the COS, Lathrop-Manteca Fire District, City of Lodi, and the City of Manteca creating the San Joaquin County Regional Fire Dispatch Authority (SJCRFDA). The SJCRFDA Board amended and adopted a revised joint exercise of power agreement on December 19, 2018, to include South San Joaquin County Fire Authority (SSJCFA); however, the amendment was never approved and adopted by all members. A second Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Power Agreement was approved by City Council on May 21, 2019.

 

It is recommended to terminate the JPA and return to contracts for service with the current JPA partners effective July 1, 2021, to provide better financial oversight and control which will be in the best interest of the COS.

 

Background

 

On June 23, 2015, the COS adopted Resolution 2015-06-23-1208 authorizing the City Manager to execute a Joint Exercise of Power Agreement between the COS, Lathrop-Manteca Fire District, City of Lodi, and the City of Manteca creating the SJCRFDA. The SJCRFDA was created October 19, 2015, when Notice of Exercise of Joint Power documents were filed with the California Secretary of State. The City of Tracy subsequently had to defer entry into SJCRFDA; however, joined effective July 1, 2016. 

 

At a regular meeting on May 18, 2016, SJCRFDA adopted an Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Power Agreement; however, the amendment was never approved and adopted by all members. The SJCRFDA Board amended and adopted a second Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Power Agreement on December 19, 2018. City Council authorized the City Manager to execute the second Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Power Agreement on May 21, 2019.

 

Present Situation

 

The purpose of the JPA was a stop gap to overcome the funding shortfall post-bankruptcy for critical infrastructure upgrades in the City’s Emergency Communications Division (ECD). The initial vision of the JPA was that it would become a self-sustaining agency; however, due to infrastructure needs and payroll expenses, a self-sustaining JPA was unable to be priced competitively and none of the JPA agencies had the start-up funds necessary for a stand-alone JPA. In addition, the formation of the JPA also occurred at a time when a Settlement Agreement between the City and San Joaquin County Emergency Medical Services Agency (SJCEMSA) in 2010 removed the Stockton Fire Department Regional Dispatch Center as a secondary Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), and designated LifeComm, now known as Valley Regional Emergency Communications Center as the secondary PSAP.

 

On October 1, 2019, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill No. 438 (SB 438) into law. SB 438 impacts regulatory authority of local emergency medical services agencies over 911 call processing and Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD).  The Bill’s purpose was to clean up language in the health and safety code regarding the regulatory authority of the local Emergency Medical Services Agency. Each agency now has the right to have the live 911 caller routed to their designated dispatch center as well as determine what units will respond. As a result, all calls will be routed to SFD dispatch center for call processing and EMD no later than May 1, 2021.

 

The majority of the work and management of Dispatch is performed by the COS, and a considerable amount of time is expensed reporting to the JPA. The JPA meets monthly with the Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, Division Chief of Technology, ECD Captain, Deputy City Attorney, and Fire and City budget personnel in attendance. In addition, a Dispatch Advisory Committee composed of a Deputy Fire Chief, Division Chief of Technology, ECD Captain and COS IT staff meet monthly to address issues brought forth by the Fire Chiefs at their monthly JPA meeting.

 

The JPA’s annual cost distribution is based on each member’s percentage share of total call volume and the COS is responsible for approximately 66% of the JPA’s annual operating costs.  However, all of its members have equal voting rights, which allows COS only one vote out of the five members and therefore only 20% influence in the JPA’s decision making process.

 

It is recommended to terminate the JPA COS will return to contracts for service with the current JPA partners effective July 1, 2021, to provide better financial oversight and control which will be in the best interest of the COS. This will allow the COS to provide contract services for other agencies, as well as pursuing other sources of revenue through dispatch services at the sole discretion of the COS, without the constraints of the JPA. The COS will have complete control over all contracts and revenues allowing us to reinvest 100% of those revenues toward COS operations.

 

Per the Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Power Agreement, Section 2: Term and Termination, 2.4 - Authority Approval:

 

 “This Agreement may be terminated (i) upon the mutual written consent of a majority of the governing bodies of the MEMBERS; and (ii) upon a majority vote of the Board of the AUTHORITY. Any such termination shall provide that the effective termination date shall not occur unless the MEMBERS have sufficient time to make appropriate arrangements to independently provide emergency and non-emergency dispatch services and shall comply with the notice provisions of Section 2.3.”

 

Upon termination of the JPA agreement, the COS intends to offer contracts for service to the current JPA members.  Additionally, we will have the opportunity to offer contracts for service to other San Joaquin County fire agencies which will provide additional revenue to offset costs in the dispatch center.

 

Alternatively, should a termination vote fail, either by COS Council or the JPA, COS

will issue notice of its intend to withdraw membership in the JPA and will issue its notice to terminate contracted dispatch services to the JPA members. 

 

In part, per the Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Power Agreement, Section 2: Term and Termination, 2.3 - Membership Term: Notice of Withdrawal:

 

 “Any individual member agency can terminate membership in this Agreement by providing written notice to all other member agencies by resolution of intent to withdraw adopted by the governing board of the withdrawing party. The notice of intent to withdraw shall be given at least two (2) years before the start of the fiscal year in which it shall be effective.”

 

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

 

There are no costs associated with the termination of the Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Power Agreement with the San Joaquin County Regional Fire Dispatch Authority effective July 1, 2021.

 

City of Stockton’s General Fund contribution to ECD operations in FY2021-22 is estimated to be approximately $3.25 million if the JPA agreement is not terminated.  On the other hand, termination of the JPA agreement and negotiation of individual contracts for dispatch services between COS and each of the remaining four JPA members effective July 1, 2021 is estimated to require an initial General Fund contribution to ECD operations of $3.35 million. The estimated annual increase in operating costs is estimated to be $100,000. The net annual cost of operating the ECD will decrease as new dispatch service contracts with other fire agencies are negotiated and with other potential future sources of revenue.    

 

The Emergency Communications Division annual budget will be developed and incorporated with the Fire Department annual budget beginning FY2021-22 budget cycle.