Decision to Allocate Safety Funds Delayed

Ventura County supervisors Tuesday postponed a Fire Department request for funding to move the department's dispatch center and to create a special search-and-rescue program.

Although expressing support for both proposals, supervisors voted 3 to 2 to postpone a decision on funding for either project until Oct. 24.

Supervisor Frank Schillo said he wanted to give other agencies a chance to apply for $800,000 in unallocated Proposition 172 money. The voter-approved measure sets aside revenues collected from a half-cent sales tax for public safety services.

Schillo said that he prefers to hear all requests for Proposition 172 money at one time, rather than individually at different times of the year, and he urged the board to adopt a policy that would determine a specific date for hearing such requests.

Supervisors Maggie Kildee and Susan Lacey voted against postponing the Ventura County Fire Department's request, saying that the board has known about the proposals since its budget hearings in July. They said they believed it was unfair for the department to wait any longer for funding.

The Fire Department has requested $415,000 in Proposition 172 money to move its dispatch center at the Camarillo Airport into a larger facility nearby.

It also wants $150,000 to develop a search-and-rescue program designed to deal with large disasters such as earthquakes and floods.

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