Fire budget up 1.3%

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, October 24 2017

The budget for the Gabriola Fire Protection Improvement District will be increasing by 1.3% this year; an increase of $10,000.

The largest increase is going to be higher coverage for Duty Officer salary.

At the latest Fire Board meeting, Trustees on the financial committee members explained Fire Chief Rick Jackson is using up accrued overtime - but that means an increase in the hours covered by the duty officers.

Board Chair Mark Noyon said, “Rick had a lot of overtime, we’ve been carrying that for a number of years- we have to get rid of that. So the Duty Officer has gone up, with Rick taking time off to get rid of that liability.”

The Duty Officer budget will increase $24,000 from $52,000 in 2017 to $76,000 in 2018.

Offsetting that increase in cost, the Trustees are decreasing the annual contribution to the Capital Reserve Fund from $175,000 in 2017 and $150,000 in 2018.

Trustee Sandra Rudischer said the committee, “saw there was going to be a big increase - we didn’t want to put a big increase on the mill rate and have irate landowners. So we looked at the capital reserve fund.”

The balance in the capital reserve fund balance is $654,000.

A new truck is being purchased, with $300,000 owed on that truck, so the balance after that truck is paid for will be $354,000.

Rudischer said the Board doesn’t want to have to borrow.

One of the trucks was paid off a couple years ago. Another of the trucks will be paid out in 2019, annual payments on that truct are between $33,000 and $34,000. 

“So we’ll have those funds to look forward to at that point if we need to beef up our capital reserve.”

Two other long-term debts will remain.

A remaining truck will be paid off in 2023. $189,424 remains to be paid on that debt.

The final remaining debt will be the newest debt, the construction of the Albert Reed Memorial Fire Hall.

That will be paid out in 2028, with $1,620,264 remaining. Rudischer said with the adjustment in capital reserve contribution, the remaining increase in the budget will come from the increase in fuel, materials, and maintenance.