Thu09182014

News

Weeds, hydrants, open seats on minds of LAH County Fire District

The 42 Los Altos Hills homeowners who failed to clear weeds and brush from their properties after receiving multiple notifications from the Los Altos Hills County Fire District can expect a larger tax bill.

At their monthly meeting July 24, commission members approved adding charges ranging from $250 to $1,600 to the county tax bills of residents who failed to comply with town fire codes.

The district’s weed and brush abatement program conducts inspections of properties each April and sends home-owners notices if their properties pose a fire risk. If the homeowner does not clean up the property, the fire district hires someone to clear the brush and bills the owner.

Hydrant improvements continue

Members of the Los Altos County Fire District Commission awarded West Valley Construction a $437,000 contract to complete Phase IV of the district’s fire hydrant replacement project.

David Bergman, fire district president, said the work is part of ongoing efforts throughout the district to improve the pressure and flow of hydrants, as well as replace older hydrants with valves located closer to the surface.

Seats up for grabs

Commissioners discussed the process for filling impending vacancies on the district’s seven-member citizen commission.

Four seats will open Jan. 1, allowing candidates from Los Altos Hills and unincorporated areas an opportunity to nominate themselves for appointment.

The role of a commission member is to “run interference for the firefighters, get a budget for them and protect them,” said Jitze Couperus, a commissioner seeking reappointment.

Couperus added that serving on the fire commission is similar to volunteering on any other board in that members must possess a certain skill level, an understanding of the department’s functions and common sense.

Members of the commission are scheduled to review letters of interest from candidates at their Sept. 18 meeting. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will evaluate the commission’s recommendations and make appointments and reappointments in the fall.

The Los Altos Hills County Fire District, created in 1939 – 17 years before Los Altos Hills was incorporated – serves 4,000 households and 10,000 residents.

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