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Supervisors to consider moving reinvestment funds to fire services

Two San Diego County supervisors proposed Monday that $5 million in funds from a recently cut Neighborhood Reinvestment Program be redirected to improve regional fire services.

The budget change request, which will be considered by the Board of Supervisors on June 29, was made by Chairwoman Pam Slater-Price and Supervisor Bill Horn.

If approved, the funds would be used to implement some of the recommendations made in a report commissioned by the Board of Supervisors in April 2009 on ways to improve area fire preparedness.

The study, by Citygate Associates, called for further integration of fire agencies within the county, the construction of 14 fire stations and more firefighters in the unincorporated areas.

“Catastrophic wildfires won’t wait for us to implement the important suggestions from the fire deployment study,” Slater-Price said. “We must act now. Fire protection for San Diego County isn’t a luxury - it’s an absolute necessity.”

The $5 million would come from funds previously slated for the county’s Neighborhood Reinvestment Program. Supervisors voted in March to halve the $10 million budget for the program.

Through the program, supervisors are able to individually allocate funds to nonprofit organizations across the county.