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July 08, 2014 8:20 am

Fire district passes preliminary FY 2014-15 budget

Written by Gib Mathers

Powell firefighters put on their final Fourth of July show Friday night. They went out in style, filling the skies with colorful patterns while they wore their bunkers — personal protective equipment — to put the show on in the blazing hot conditions. Powell firefighters put on their final Fourth of July show Friday night. They went out in style, filling the skies with colorful patterns while they wore their bunkers — personal protective equipment — to put the show on in the blazing hot conditions. Tribune photo by Ben Wetzel

The directors of Park County Fire Protection District No. 1 in Powell will need to appropriate a little cash from a reserve account to cover expenses for the upcoming fiscal year, according to preliminary budget figures.

The directors passed the preliminary FY 2014-15 budget on June 17. A budget hearing open to the public will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 17, at the Powell Fire Department, 1101 E. South St.

Following the hearing the directors will adopt the FY 2014-15 budget.

The district’s total income for the fiscal year is estimated at $705,899. The 2013-14 budget was $794,968.

Total expenses for the 2014-15 fiscal year are anticipated at $942,640. That leaves a shortfall of $236,741.

The district has $700,000 in reserves it can draw on to cover the deficit, according to Kenny Skalsky, the district administrator.

“I think we’ll probably be OK,” said TJ Bell, the district president. “That’s why we save our money.”

Income includes $604,899 from Park County taxes, $1,500 from Big Horn County taxes, $6,500 from interest, $90,000 from vehicle taxes, $2,000 from unanticipated revenue and $1,000 from the sale of a fire truck to the Clark Fire Department.

Under administrative expense the total is $42,500. That includes $2,500 for board expenses to pay for meetings and meals for the directors. To pay legal expenses and bookkeeping charges for an attorney and accountant retained by the district, $10,000 is allocated.

A total of $5,000 is included to cover office equipment costs and advertising. The incentive, a retirement fund to encourage senior firefighters to remain with the department, is $25,000, Skalsky said.

Capital outlay is $376,000. That entails $20,000 for bunker gear — the coats, overalls, boots and helmets firefighters wear.

Replacement for SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus) oxygen packs firefighters wear in and around fires is $192,000. SCBA oxygen tanks are $40,000 for the oxygen packs.

Pagers and radios to summon firefighters and provide communication among firefighters and dispatch is $10,000.

Under capital outlay, the district is allotting $100,000 to tap into a water main for a fire hydrant to to be used for training. The line from the main will feed the new fire hydrant and supply a possible future interior fire department sprinkler system. 

Capital outlay includes $6,000 for installing electrical wiring in the storage building on fire department grounds and $3,000 for a gravel and drainage

project also on fire department grounds.

Capital outlay also includes $5,000 earmarked for a trip to allow firefighters to examine brush trucks. The district will be purchasing a new brush truck, Skalsky said. Brush trucks are smaller than fire trucks and can be deployed in fields and river bottoms to fight wildfires.

Indirect costs are $92,500. That includes $30,000 for building/property, trucks and liability insurance. Medical insurance is $8,400 for the district’s one full-time employee, Skalsky. The pension for Skalsky and the firefighters’ retirement program costs $18,000.

Social Security costs are $20,000 and unemployment/workers compensation cost is $16,000. The surety bond, required by the state of Wyoming to ensure the district can collect its 3 mills, is $100, Skalsky said.

In operations, $362,000 is set aside. Of that $18,000 is earmarked for an alarm system. Building/property upkeep has $10,000 slated and cleaning has $3,000. Equipment operations, such as gas, oil, tires and parts for trucks has $70,000 set aside. Fire equipment such as hose, hose fittings and ladders is $10,000.

Physicals for firefighters is $15,000. Testing to pay certified technicians to test fire extinguishers, oxygenated equipment, pumps and other tools is $10,000. Utilities are $25,000.

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