2009 California Public Resources Code - Section 4141-4145 :: Article 4. Cooperative AgreementsPUBLIC RESOURCES CODE
4141. The department may, for the prevention and suppression of forest fires, enter into cooperative agreements with any person, firm, association, or corporation that owns or controls any forest, brush, grass, or grain lands, under such terms as the department deems advisable, and may renew, revise, or terminate these agreements. The department also may, for the purpose of maintaining a fire patrol system for the prevention and suppression of forest fires in any timber, brush, grass, or other flammable vegetation or material, enter into cooperative agreements with the federal government, under such terms as it deems advisable, and may renew, revise, or terminate these agreements. The expenses incurred under these agreements shall be paid from appropriations or funds available for forest fire protection. 4142. (a) The department may, with the approval of the Department of General Services, enter into a cooperative agreement upon the terms and under the conditions as it deems wise, for the purpose of preventing and suppressing forest fires or other fires in any lands within any county, city, or district which makes an appropriation for that purpose. (b) When the state assumes personnel from a county, city, or district, an actuarially determined benefit factor shall be included as a cost in the cooperative agreement, including renewals of the agreement, for any county, city, or district which elects to allow the completed years an employee worked at that county, city, or district, or a lesser number of completed years specified by the local agency, to be credited towards the vesting period for state postretirement health benefits. The department shall certify the completed years of county, city, or district service to be credited to an employee to the Board of Administration Public Employees' Retirement System at the time of separation for retirement. The actuarially determined benefit factor shall be accepted as sufficient by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, upon review by the Department of Finance, to fully compensate the state for the postretirement health benefit costs of those employees. The postretirement health benefit costs charged under this subdivision may be paid in periodic installments at the discretion of the department. If the costs are paid in installments, the payment of the postretirement health benefit costs for years credited for nonstate service shall be a continuing obligation of any county, city, or district which made that election, regardless of whether or not the cooperative agreement continues or is renewed, and regardless of whether or not the employees continue in state service. 4142.1. Whenever a county, city, or district considers entering into a cooperative agreement pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4142 under which the state would assume personnel from the county, city, or district, the county, city or district shall, prior to the execution of the cooperative agreement, give written notice to each affected employee of how the transfer of functions would affect his or her health benefits upon his or her retirement. 4143. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the maintenance of the economic well-being of the state and the public health and safety require that the state, through the department, obtain full utilization of all equipment, personnel, and buildings under the jurisdiction of the director. In order to obtain these benefits, the director, in accordance with policy determined by the board, may provide personnel for and operate those fire stations, statewide, as the director deems necessary to provide the best possible fire prevention and suppression. Personnel or equipment shall not be assigned to any location or assigned pursuant to Section 4144 if that assignment would not meet policy and standards established by the board. The policy and standards shall be designed to ensure all of the following: (a) The striking force and efficiency of the department in its primary mission of wild land fire protection, as well as response to major fires or other natural disasters will not be reduced or impaired. (b) The department will not need any additional funds to operate its program. (c) Personnel and equipment assigned pursuant to Section 4144 will not replicate services provided under an agreement made pursuant to Section 4142. The normal assignment of fire resources of the department throughout California during periods of critical fire weather conditions or during major wild land fires shall not be impaired and shall receive priority over agreements made with counties pursuant to Section 4144. 4144. (a) Notwithstanding Section 4142, the director may, with the approval of the Department of General Services, enter into a cooperative agreement, for the purpose of preventing and suppressing fires, with a city, county, special district, or other political subdivision of the state or person, firm, association, or corporation that requests an agreement, under those terms and conditions that the director deems wise. (b) The director shall not enter into or renew a cooperative agreement pursuant to this section under any of the following circumstances: (1) With any county that has assumed responsibility pursuant to Section 4129. (2) If the land to be protected is not in proximity to, nor within lands classified by the board pursuant to Section 4125 as, a state responsibility area. For the purposes of this paragraph, "proximity" means within a distance from an existing facility that results in a response time established by the board that is not longer than that used by the department in meeting its state wild land fire protection mission. (3) The director determines that the agreement would significantly reduce existing fire prevention and suppression service levels. (4) The director determines, pursuant to the policy and standards adopted by the board under Section 4143, that the agreement would replicate services provided under an agreement made pursuant to Section 4142. (5) The director determines that the service area of a particular station under the agreement is more appropriately served under an agreement made pursuant to Section 4142. (c) The cooperative agreement shall provide all of the following: (1) The department shall ensure that a staffing level, mutually agreeable to the parties to the agreement, is maintained on all fire prevention and suppression vehicles. (2) The personnel, equipment, and buildings utilized shall be limited to those used to protect state responsibility areas. Whenever the cooperative agreement provides for the employment of personnel during the nonfire season who would be in addition to the personnel required for the necessary operation and maintenance of equipment and buildings under the jurisdiction of the director, the full salaries and all benefits of the additional personnel shall be apportioned, as costs to the city, county, special district, or other political subdivision of the state, or person, firm, association, or corporation that contracts with the department pursuant to the cooperative agreement for fire protection. (3) A cost apportionment between the state and the city, county, special district, or other political subdivision of the state, or person, firm, association, or corporation that contracts with the state for fire protection that reasonably reflects cost apportionments made pursuant to Section 4141 or 4142, except that the contracting city, county, special district, other political subdivision of the state, or contracting person, firm, association, or corporation shall be apportioned the additional cost for extended staff availability for 24-hour emergency response, for state personnel assigned to staff fire engines at a rate determined annually by the director, plus staff benefit costs attributable to the apportionment, and total unplanned overtime pay. The department shall recover its actual additional costs. 4145. (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that cooperative agreements that are entered into between the department and a local government shall provide for the equitable sharing of costs associated with capital outlay projects that enlarge, enhance, or replace facilities for the purposes of benefiting the cooperating local government. (b) The department shall prescribe those terms and conditions for those cooperative agreements that would result in an equitable sharing of those costs in proportion to the benefits derived, including any in-kind, lump-sum, or installment payments. Any installment payment made in connection with a cooperative agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall be made over a period of time not exceeding a maximum of 20 years at the same rate of interest as the rate for the state's Pooled Money Investment Account. Any money that is received for reimbursements for facility improvement costs, under a cooperative agreement, shall be deposited in the General Fund.
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