Analysis of the 2005-06 Budget Bill
Legislative Analyst's Office
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection operates over 500 facilities statewide, including 229 forest fire stations. The Governor's budget proposes $47.1 million for the department's capital outlay program. This amount includes $41.7 million for four major capital outlay projects from lease-payment bonds, and $5.3 million from the General Fund for three major projects and one minor project.
Regarding major projects, the budget request includes funding for two continuing projects that have previously been funded for preliminary plans and five new projects for which preliminary plans, working drawings, and construction are now proposed.
We recommend that the Legislature defer action on $294,000 (General Fund) proposed for a replacement water supply system at the Bear Valley Forest Fire Station until the department provides a budget package that defines the scope and costs of the project.
The budget requests $294,000 from the General Fund to begin preliminary plans and working drawings for a project to replace the water supply system at the Bear Valley Forest Fire Station. Our review indicates that while, in concept, the project to replace the water system is warranted, the department has not completed a budget package study to determine the most feasible, cost-effective means of permanently resolving the recurring water supply problems at this facility. Without defining the scope and the estimated cost of the project, providing funding for preliminary plans and working drawings is premature. We understand from the department that a study is underway to refine the project's scope and cost. It is anticipated that the study will be completed this spring. Accordingly, we recommend that action on this project be deferred until the budget package for the project is completed and available for review by the Legislature.