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Adelanto approves JPA study

Will cost an estimated total of $200,000

ADELANTO • The city of Adelanto voted 4-1 Wednesday to approve the city's participation in a public safety joint powers authority feasibility study with other Victor Valley municipalities.

Adelanto is the last of the Victor Valley’s four major cities to approve the study; Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville approved it at their most recent meetings.

According to a staff report by City Manager Jim Hart, the estimated $200,000 cost of the study would be shared equally between all municipalities — approximately $50,000 each.

Some council members expressed concern about the cost before the vote.

“I’ve had many talks with the other mayors of the High Desert, and they’re all feeling the same pain,” Adelanto Mayor Cari Thomas said during the meeting. “Though I agree wholeheartedly that $50,000 is a big number, at some point that cost is going to outweigh all the other rising costs.”

The study would determine if the cities could save money by joining forces to create their own police and fire services, no longer using the fire and sheriff’s departments of San Bernardino County.

Hart wrote in his report that last year’s administrative fees for the sheriff contract increased from 3 to 5 percent, and county Chief Executive Officer Gregory C. Devereaux has indicated that the county may begin to charge contract cities for services that have not been charged for in the past, such as helicopter usage.

“For Adelanto it is especially problematic because we don't have a special district like Apple Valley does for fire,” Hart told the Daily Press last week. “We pay fire and police directly out of our general fund, and we don’t have a special tax to pay for it.”

Jim E. Winburn can be reached at jwinburn@vvdailypress.com or at (760) 955-5368.

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