North Lake Tahoe Fire budget down about $400,000 for next year |

North Lake Tahoe Fire budget down about $400,000 for next year

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. ” The operating budget for the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District is projected to drop about $400,000 for the upcoming fiscal year.

The budget, totaling about $13.8 million, down from about $14.2 million last year, will go before the fire district’s board of directors for approval this week.

“The district is continually looking at all revenue resources and all areas of operation to be as cost effective as possible with district funds and maintain the same level of service,” said Chief Mike Brown.

The special budget meeting will take place Friday at 9 a.m. at 866 Oriole Way, and it includes a mandatory public comment section.

A drop in some revenues led to the decrease, Brown said, as the budget shows a roughly $200,000 drop in property taxes and an approximately $800,000 drop in consolidated taxes, which includes Nevada’s sales tax.

Fire district projected revenues increased, however, in fuels reduction work. The NLTFPD netted about $2.45 million in fuels work last year and is projecting an estimated $400,000 increase to about $2.85 million this year.

Brown said hand crews and career staff responding to out-of-area fires ” crews worked all over California after a rash of wildfires broke out in late June last year ” help to offset the costs of maintenance equipment and crew work.

The fire district also implemented a number of cost-savings measures to offset the loss of revenues in the projected budget.

“We’re trying to be very conservative with our costs,” said Sharon Cary, NLTFPD business manager.

To combat the deficit, Brown said the district will reduce its spending on public education without eliminating programs, put a freeze on hiring, implement efficiencies related to energy costs and reduce the use of overtime by district personnel.

“We’re looking very carefully at our staffing and setting it to follow the trends that are currently taking place,” Brown said.

The fire district is also holding off on hiring a new battalion chief, a position which is currently being filled by both Brown and Assistant Fire Chief Greg McKay on a rotating basis.

In a search for new revenue sources, Brown said the district is looking to contract out the services of fire prevention staff, namely Fire Marshall Tom Smith and Assistant Fire Marshall Pete Mulvihill, to assist with plan checks in other districts. The two currently work on a contract basis with Washoe County and the Sierra Fire Protection District.

Brown said the final budget is open to change depending on legislation currently in the Nevada State Assembly.

The North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District is facing a decrease of about $400,000 in their operating budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year. Here’s a look at some of the numbers.

2008-09 budget $14.25

2009-10 proposed budget $13.8

2008-09 property tax revenue $7.86 million

2009-10 projected property tax revenue $7.6 million

2008-09 consolidated tax revenue $3.9 million

2009-10 projected consolidated tax revenue $3.1 million

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