The Menlo Park Fire Protection District board voted unanimously on Tuesday 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.