Fire District budget continues to increase

November 24th, 2012 by Ken

It was $13 million in 2011, will hit $14.3 million this year and is predicted to hit $14.8 million in 2013.    The General Fund budget for the Lacey Fire District continues to go up every year.

Despite the increase in revenue, the district is not able to open Station 35, the Willamette station.   The reason is simple.   All of the increased revenue goes to staffing.

Personnel costs make up 82 percent of the district’s budget.  And, while district firefighters have forgone a cost of living increase, the cost of staffing goes up each year.   Step raises and health care costs continue to push the budget, while increases in revenue fail to keep up with increases in personnel costs.

While the assessed valuation of the district has decreased by 7.6 percent, some $110 million in new construction have helped with revenue.   However, the cost to taxpayers will rise from $1.42 per thousand of assessed valuation to $1.46.

Last year the Fire Commissioners issued bonds to fund the purchase of new fire equipment and upgrade the Steilacoom fire station.   Some of that equipment will be purchased during 2013.

Lacey Fire Chief Steve Brooks said that the commissioners were looking at grant money to open the Willamette station as well as another grant for volunteer staffing and training.

The fire chief said that agreements worked out with Olympia have led to cost savings regarding vehicle repair and use of city training facilities.


Posted in Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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