LAFAYETTE -- A City Council decision whether to enter into a legal agreement with the Moraga-Orinda Fire District to buy land on the district's behalf is scheduled for Monday, but it won't necessarily get a full public hearing.
According to a meeting agenda on the city's website, the agreement -- in which the council would consent to purchase a 3.2-acre property for the district using $1.2 million of MOFD capital funds -- is on the consent calendar portion of Monday's City Council meeting, one of a number of such approvals. All items on the consent calendar are usually approved in a single motion, but can be discussed as separate items at the request of a council member or a member of the public.
City Manager Steve Falk said Thursday that officials don't anticipate much controversy over the issue in Lafayette.
"The council has already indicated its support for the matter. They directed us to work with MOFD to prepare the agreement," Falk said.
Added Lafayette Councilman Brandt Andersson, "I don't think there's much objection in Lafayette to getting the station open."
However, it's a different story in the district, where some Orinda and Moraga residents are vehemently opposed to the plan.
The Lafayette council voted May 13 to support a request from then-MOFD Chief Randy Bradley that the city work up an agreement with MOFD to buy the property. The site has been proposed as the future home of a station serving residents of east Orinda and west Lafayette.
The "joint powers agreement" up for approval Monday would allow the city to buy the Lafayette parcel for MOFD; the district is not legally allowed to acquire land outside its boundaries.
The city would then hold the land until MOFD can find a financial partner to build a fire station, dubbed "Station 46." It would replace the closed ConFire "Station 16" on Los Arabis Drive and MOFD "Station 43" on Via Las Cruces. Fire offofficials have said the move could save each district $1 million a year or more than $80 million total over 40 years.
An MOFD board majority also has decided to go ahead with the land purchase.
Andersson said the agreement is a technical matter and a legal requirement. "Any member of the public can take something off of consent," he said.