Modesto OKs lay off contracts with Oakdale, other areas east

The Modesto Fire Department will handle large swaths to the east under contracts that got final approval Tuesday night.

One is renewing a 2019 agreement with the City of Oakdale and the surrounding Oakdale Rural Fire Protection District. The other is a first agreement with the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District, which stretches from Riverbank to La Grange.

Modesto City Council voted 7-0 for both contracts, which will run until June 2027. District councils and Oakdale City Council approved them earlier.

Stanislaus Consolidated Fire map.jpg

Modesto’s votes took place the same night the Turlock City Council decided to have its fire department run by Stanislaus County’s largest city as well. The Modesto council has yet to approve this plan.

Modesto also has a five-year contract with Ceres which started last August.

“Looking forward to doing business”

Funders said the agreements reduce administrative costs while improving responses to fires, medical emergencies and other calls.

“We look forward to doing business with you over the next few years,” Greg Bernardi, Chairman of the Board of Stanislaus Consolidated, said in the Zoom meeting.

His contract will start on Tuesday, February 1. These are management duties only, unlike the Oakdale and Ceres area, where Modesto employs firefighters.

Stanislaus Consolidated operates stations at Riverbank, Empire, Waterford and La Grange, and on Mitchell Road near Modesto Airport. A sixth station on Highway 132 near Geer Road is temporarily closed due to budget concerns. The district extends into Tuolumne County to the east and Merced County to the south.

It will pay the city $148,363 for services through the end of June 30 of the current fiscal year. The costs will be $371,599 the following year and will reach approximately $420,000 the last year.

Under the supervision of the District Council, Modesto will manage operations, including budgeting, staffing, training, fire prevention and other duties.

The district will save about $296,428 over the life of the contract compared to keeping management in-house, officials said earlier this month.

Oakdale area reconnects with Modesto

Modesto’s current contract for the Oakdale area runs through June. The new will come into effect on July 1 and will last until June 2027.

The contract involves the City of Oakdale Fire Stations on G Street and Willowood Drive and Knights Ferry Station in the Rural District. The district borders Stanislaus Consolidated to the north and stretches across the northeast triangle of the county.

Modesto will receive $5.63 million in the first year of the contract, rising to $6 million in the fifth. The Town of Oakdale will pay 62.5% of the cost and the District the remainder.

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John Holland covers agriculture, transportation and general missions. He has worked for The Modesto Bee since 2000 and previously worked for newspapers in Sonora and Visalia. He was born and raised in San Francisco and graduated in journalism from UC Berkeley.

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