2023 Special Election
Status of Election:
03/28/2023- Election results certified by Probate
03/21/2023- 7 a.m to 7 p.m. election to be held
02/15/2023- Allison S. Boyd Judge of Probate issued Order & Notice of Election.
02/14/2023- A petition for election has been submitted to the Shelby County Probate Judge.
certified by probate March 28, 2023.
Item 1 PASSED
The Cahaba Valley Fire & EMR District Board proposes a change to the Service Charge Schedule to support retention of firefighters with competitive pay, provide appropriate staffing levels to meet the community needs, and restore previous ambulance services.
Item 2 FAILED
Proposed rates increase for FY25, FY26, FY27, and FY28 of an additional 4 percent above the standard allowed increase to support and maintain long term sustainability of the Fire District.
Item 3 FAILED
Proposed addition of item 16 “The Board of Trustees may invoke a capital improvement service charge of a maximum of $100 per year to support capital purchases. This would be limited to one capital project at a time and additional projects would not be started until the current project is fully funded. (i.e. fire trucks, ambulances, firefighting equipment, or facilities)
Item 4 PASSED
Proposed changes to item 14 of the Schedule of Service Charges to allow the District to bill for ambulance transports. “The Board of Trustees has determined that ambulance service shall be provided within the District, and the Board shall establish the appropriate charge for such service provided. CVFD shall bill the individual’s insurance (if applicable) first, any cost not covered by insurance becomes the responsibility of the individual or the responsible party.
Community Meeting Presentation Information
Community Meeting Dates
Video of COmmunity Meeting
Click link to view PDF—> CVFD Strategic Plan
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Do property value increases not cover the amount of money CVFD needs?
a) No, property value increases have had a minimal impact on CVFD’s budget. Property values must increase significantly to make a difference since they are based on $100,000 increments.
2) Will decreased services effect my insurance rates?
a) This is dependent on the individual insurance company and other variables that they assess such as distance from a fire hydrant, distance from a fire station, amount of time it takes the fire department to respond to an incident, how personnel the fire department sends, and number of fire related claims in an area.
3) Where can I see a copy of CVFD financials?
a) Our financials are available on our website www.cahabavalleyfire.org/2023electionwww.cahabavalleyfire.org/2023election or schedule a visit to the business office at 145 Narrows Drive Birmingham, AL 35242 | 205-991-5266
4) Is Shelby County forming a county wide EMS system?
a) No, Shelby County is aiding agencies in the county that are currently providing ambulance transport by providing limited funding. They are also funding capital purchases such as ambulances to help agencies that are not currently transporting start ambulance transporting.
5) Why is there such desperate need now?
a) The department relied on resident firefighters for a third of its staffing. A resident firefighter was provided a dorm style apartment in the fire station and training in exchange for working a set number of hours per week. They were not eligible for health insurance or benefits. This saved the department a lot of money in payroll and benefits cost. In the recent years the interest in this program diminished and it became very difficult to find candidates to staff the resident program. With the release of the Affordable Care Act CVFD was required to provide resident firefighters with health insurance and benefits same as that were awarded to full time firefighters. At this point the department dissolved the resident program and transitioned these firefighters into full time positions. This increased the department’s payroll and benefits budget dramatically. Other than 5% increases on some years and an increase on apartment complexes and businesses in 2019 the department’s Schedule of Service Charges has not changed since the year 2000.
6) How much does a CVFD firefighter make?
a) An entry level firefighter makes $39,141.07 per year or $15.05 an hour. This amount was changed from $28,600 per year or $11.00 an hour in the fall of 2022 when the department started losing so many firefighters to other departments. CVFD firefighter pay is still below the majority of the metro area departments.
7) How does the change in the billing cycle effect my FY24 balance?
a) It does not affect your FY24 balance. Your FY23 payment covers from Oct 1, 2022, to Sept 30, 2023, and was due Oct 1 and late after Dec 31. Your FY24 payment will cover Oct 1, 2023, to Sept 30, 2024. It will be billed and due in June 2023 and late after Sept 30, 2023. This moves our billing period out of the holiday and tax season also allowing an additional month to pay before late charges are added.
8) Why is the District not funded by the County?
a) Shelby County does not fund any fire or emergency medical services agency in the county. The county does provide some funding to many departments in the county to support capital purchases, but this funding varies year to year and no department or agency is guaranteed any specific amount.
9) With all the development in the area, why does the Fire District not receive impact fees to support capital funds of the Fire District from the developers?
a) Impact fees are a onetime hit and can only be for capital purchases. Impact fees could be beneficial to the District but the reality is that if impact fees are imposed the developers will take measures to annex the properties into a neighboring cities that do not impose an impact fee. This would lead to the loss of control of the development (i.e. lot size, number of homes built, square footage of homes) and the fracturing of the District boundaries. In the end the subdivisions and developments would still get built.
10) What does a possible change in legislation do for us in the long term?
a) If legislation could be changed to give fire districts taxing authority the fire districts could diversify their income through sales taxes thus reducing the burden on the individual residential property owners. This would also allow the districts to capture revenue from non-district residents as they shop or conduct business in the district.
11) What happens if these measures do not pass?
a) It would mean additional cuts in our budget such as possibly selling another fire truck, a reduction in staffing and not giving any raises. That could lead to the shutdown of an additional fire engine or the closing of a fire station due to reduced staffing.
12) What does it cost when another district has cover calls for CVFD?
a) It does not cost CVFD any thing under our automatic and mutual aid agreements. We do respond to calls in other districts and cities in return. The intent of automatic and mutual aid is to provide additional man power on large incidents and to assist during overlapping calls. Automatic and mutual aid should not be relied on to provide primary coverage to an area.
13) From the last two years, have you seen a change in the in service to the District?
a) For this year, due to the decrease in staffing from three people per fire truck down to two people per fire truck and removing an ambulance from service. First unit on scene times has changed minimally but the amount of time it takes to get an ambulance transport unit on scene has increased by 50%. We must send more units to a scene to provide the same number of personnel. These increases response times to other areas of the district during overlapping calls.
14) Have you taken the time to benchmark against North Shelby Fire District?
a) The Cahaba Valley Fire District and North Shelby Fire District are both located in Shelby County, Alabama, and provide fire protection and emergency services to their respective communities. In terms of size, the Cahaba Valley Fire District covers approximately 32 square miles and serves a population of around 25,000 people, while the North Shelby Fire District covers approximately 26 square miles and serves a population of around 20,000 people. Cahaba Valley Fire District responds to just over 3,800 calls per year whereas North Shelby Fire District responds to approximately 2,400 calls per year. Both fire districts operate with career firefighters, and both have ISO (Insurance Services Office) ratings of 2, which is considered a good rating. North Shelby Fire has 35 employees and Cahaba Valley Fire has 48 employees. In terms of equipment and facilities, both fire districts have multiple fire stations and a fleet of firefighting apparatuses. The Cahaba Valley Fire District has four fire stations, while the North Shelby Fire District has three. Both fire districts also have rescue units, hazmat response teams, and other specialized equipment to handle various emergency situations. Cahaba Valley Fire staffs three fire engine companies and two ambulances transports units. North Shelby staffs two fire engine companies and one ambulance transport unit. In terms of funding, both fire districts rely on a combination of fees for service and grants to finance their operations. Overall, both the Cahaba Valley Fire District and North Shelby Fire District are well-established fire departments that provide essential fire protection and emergency services to their respective communities. It would be difficult to make a direct comparison between the two without access to detailed performance data, but both fire districts appear to be well-equipped and well-trained to handle emergencies in their service areas.
15) How does someone become a Board Member of the District?
a) The Board of Trustees is composed of five members from the community. They serve a four-year alternating term. At the end of each term interested parties must qualify through Shelby County Probate. If the position is challenged by two or more parties an election will be held the first Tuesday of September. The party that receives the most votes will be dully elected to the position for four years. If the position is not challenged, it is filled by the current position holder or by appointment of the Board.