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The Lake News Online
  • Board OKs SBFPD 2014 budget

  • The Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District is budgeting $1,401,651 for operations next year.
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  • The Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District is budgeting $1,401,651 for operations next year.
    The board of directors recently approved the 2014 budget with an anticipated $186,945 increase in revenues from the 2013 budget after a 7 cent levy increase in effect on property tax that was approved by voters in August.
    Property tax is estimated to total $1,367,951 for the year compared to $1,080,574 in the 2013 budget. The district also boosted anticipated permit revenue from $20,000 to $25,000.
    Close to $108,000 will be carried over from 2013 operations to 2014. The budget also plans to have a surplus of $2,500 at the end of the year to contribute to the reserve fund.
    With the additional revenue, the district will fund three new firefighter positions in addition to the ten currently on staff.
    "As a professional fire officer with 40 years of experience I see this as a tremendous gain in safety for both our community and our firefighters. I am deeply appreciative of the support that our citizens have given the Fire District," Chief Dennis Reilly said in his budget message to the board.
    One of the new positions will be added to each shift to have four on regular duty and one in a float position.
    The new staffing levels should put a minimum of two firefighters and one shift supervisor on duty 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
    With the firefighter in the float position, it should also be possible to maintain four firefighters on duty for around 85-90 percent of the time, according to Reilly.
    Outside of the new positions, the 2014 budget will allow the district to do flow testing on half of the self-contained breathing apparatus units and service testing on the district's ground ladders - two significant firefighter safety issues that the district has been putting off.
    The budget will also continue to fund attendance for two at significant out of town training events such as the Fire Department Instructors Conference.
    Travel and conferences have been budgeted at $6,000.
    The regular training budget has also been increased from $19,000 to $30,000. Maintenance of the live fire training center has been set at $10,000.
    Overall, the district is trying to transition to a more strategic way of planning, Reilly said, with the increase in funds allowing them to replace items before failures occur.
    "Not only will this budget allow for additional staffing, we will be able to meet several statuary requirements and industry standards that previous budgets did not allow for. I predict that the 2014 budget will provide management the flexibility to address multiple issues within our organization, and allow us to move to a more strategic way of thinking," he said.
    Apparatus repairs are budgeted at $40,000 instead of $30,000. The equipment and truck testing budget was set at $15,000 compared to $10,500 in 2013.
    Page 2 of 2 - Communications and radio repairs were separated from the regular equipment budget and are funded at $7,500 and $2,000 respectively. Technology expenses are budgeted to be around $7,700.
    Building maintenance was budgeted at $20,000.
    The equipment purchases budget was reduced from $24,000 to $20,000.
    "The economy is still in what I, and many astute financial people, would call tenuous. I feel that a continuation of the overall conservative nature of our decision making is still warranted and I look forward to working with the board to ensure that we are able to maintain a healthy balance between provide service and being good stewards of the public's money," Reilly said.
    Outside of the operations budget, the district is scheduled to make a bond payment of $732,748.

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