The city will turn to the private sector in an effort to avoid what it believes are excessive new charges for emergency handling of hazardous materials.
The City Council authorized City Manager Lee Risner and City Atty. Richard D. Jones to enter into a contract for handling hazardous materials with Disposal Control Services Inc. by Oct 1.
For the past five years, the service has been provided free by Anaheim. Effective Oct. 1, however, the service will cost $68,400 annually.
The free services had grown out of an agreement among Orange County cities to support grant proposals by five of the county's largest fire departments for hazardous materials equipment, training and personnel. Those departments are Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Orange County.
Recently, however, those agencies established a joint powers agreement and determined that charges should be imposed to cover rising costs.
According to a study conducted by La Habra, units assigned to hazardous materials duties also respond to other types of emergencies. This led the city and a number of other communities with their own fire departments to conclude that the costs were too high and that fewer units were needed to meet needs.
As part of the plan to contract for services approved by the City Council on Tuesday, Fire Department personnel will also receive hazardous materials training, while the option of calling on Anaheim for emergencies beyond the capabilities of the private company will be retained.