Fire District budget up 2.1%; taxes to stay same as 2019

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Wednesday, November 6 2019

The budget for the Gabriola Fire Protection Improvement District will increase by 2.1% in 2020, as discussed at the latest meeting of the Fire Board on October 23.

The provincial levy - which includes the operating budget (expenses) of the Fire Department - as well as any long-term debts also being paid through taxation - will not increase. A long-term debt owed on one of the fire trucks is being paid off - District staff say this will offset the budget increase, keeping taxes at the 2019 levels. 

Paula Mallinson, Corporate Officer for the Fire District, said the main portions of the budget which are increasing are training (+$5,000), equipment (+$3,000), and $1,000 has been added in for legal fees. 

She said overall, the budget is up $14,000 over 2019 for a total of $683,600.

Trustee Mark Noyon said the Board tries to keep the cost down for the taxypayers, “as best that we can.”

Taxes, Mallinson said, “should be the same as last year. For our size of department, that’s a really low budget.”

Asked if there is any capital acquisitions coming, Fire Chief Rick Jackson said a new #5 fire truck will be ordered in the new year.

The Board has a capital reserves into which it deposits $150,000 a year out of the levy. 

The reserve is then used to make major purchases like new trucks. 

The Board motions to approve the provincial levy were carried.