Fire District Board Votes to Move Forward With Facebook Agreement

By: Ja'Mein Beale - Wed, 25 Apr 2012 07:47:37 -0800

MENLO PARK (BCN)--The Menlo Park Fire Protection District board has voted to enter into an agreement between Facebook and the fire district  that would provide expanded emergency and fire services for the company and  for residents within the district.
The agreement is separate from one under development between the  social networking giant and the Menlo Park City Council, which last week  unanimously approved terms for an agreement that will allow Facebook to  nearly double its current employee capacity from 3,600 people to 6,600  people.
About 2,000 people currently work at Facebook's Menlo Park office  located at the intersection of Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway.
Under the agreement with the fire district, Facebook would provide  up to $300,000 toward improvements and enhancements that would support  Facebook and the community.
"This is a win for everybody," Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman  said. "I think there's a lot of positives that are coming that will be very  good for the community." 
Depending upon how much Facebook grows, it could provide up to  $300,000, which would be used for traffic devices that would give emergency  vehicles the right of way through traffic signals located on access routes  leading to the campus and would fund safety-related projects, according to  the fire district.
"We are very appreciative of the financial and community support  Facebook is providing to help support emergency response so the fire district  can respond quickly in any emergency situation to the eastern areas of Menlo  Park," Schapelhouman said.
If the company builds a new second campus at the Bayfront  Expressway site, it is projected to provide an additional $100,000 to  $200,000 in annual property taxes to the district.
Schapelhouman said that Facebook would be able to expand to beyond  3,600 employees without constructing a new campus because of existing  structures that formerly housed Sun Microsystems.
The benefits from the agreement would go "beyond dollars and  cents" and is an important step in building a relationship between Facebook  and the community, Schapelhouman said.
The fire chief added that working with Facebook to reach this  agreement has been a positive experience.
"Early on we realized there was a common theme between their  commitment to the community service they want to provide and what we do every  day," he said.
(Copyright 2012, Bay City News. All Rights Reserved.)  
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