Financial struggles lead to new Arcata Fire District measure

ARCATA, Calif. (KIEM) – Measure R was up for consideration in March with the potential to relieve the financial stress of the Arcata Fire District. When it failed to pass, the district had to make major changes.

Chief Justin McDonald said before Measure R, the Arcata Fire District was able to staff three stations, but it required filling positions with overtime.

“We couldn’t afford it,” McDonald said, “Post Measure R, the board opted to brown out one of our three stations and we did it in a rotation so that not any one community or location is hit by having a closed fire station.”

The Arcata Fire District is now down to two operating stations, but with a new measure on the way, the district hopes it will see more success.

“Measure F is a special tax that the Arcata Fire District is putting on the ballot here in November and it is essentially to refill our vacant firefighter positions that we have and it will allow us to reopen one of our three stations,” McDonald said.

The new measure will also give the Arcata Fire District funds to start replenishing the vehicle replacement fund, which will lead to the purchase of a new fire engine. This time around, Chief McDonald said Measure F has already seen more support.

“There has been a big community push. There is a group of community members that have formed up a group that has been taking on the campaigning for us. The fire district can’t campaign, we can only provide information to the public about what Measure F is,” McDonald said.

He also has a message to community members, stressing the importance of Measure F.

“Please do the research on Measure F,” McDonald said, “Feel free to give us a call. (707) 825-2000. Talk to me. The information is on our web page, but please educate yourself on what Measure F is and what it will do.”