Understanding Reno's "Fire Divorce"
On April 2, city and county officials are scheduled to meet to discuss the status of the potential split between the City of Reno Fire Department and Washoe County's Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. It's the latest in nine months of trying to resolve how fires in the region would be handled. It's a dispute with multiple sides and plenty at stake. And as KUNR's Kate McGee explains, it's a situation that can be best explained when compared to a divorce. Anatomy of a Divorce: A Timeline 1991 - Going SteadyCity and County begin "dating," entering into "automatic aid agreement." In other words: They agree to help each other should a fire break out. 2000 - Getting HitchedCity and County "marry" their fire services under the Inter-Local Agreement for Fire Service and Consolidation. All county fire fighters become city fire fighters. Nine years of cooperation and savings ensue. 2009 - This Isn't WorkingAs the economic crisis looms, declines in property taxes and sales taxes cripple the county, which draws funds for fire services from those sources. June 28, 2011 - The Break UpCounty tells the City "were breaking up," and wants out of the Inter-Local Agreement, giving the City one year notice it's required. Feb. 2012 - Let's Try to Make This WorkRepresentatives from both sides devise the Regional Plan, aimed at combining City and County fire agencies into one big regional fire department. March 2012 - That's Not Good EnoughCounty rejects the Regional Plan because it would've had them dip into its reserves to fill a $2.1 million budget gap. March 2012 - What I Need to Be HappyCounty comes up with its own Plan A and even a Plan B, in case the city rejects Plan A. April 2, 2012 - Meeting Face to FaceCity and County officials meet to discuss the plans. July 1, 2012 - UltimatumDeadline for action. If no new agreement is reached, the two sides split and must provide services on their own.