A new fire station, finishing up the administration building and other odds and ends make up the Spokane Valley Fire Department budget for 2012.
The budget – at $31.4 million – is actually lower than this year’s $33.3 million budget. With revenues projected to come in at about $31.2 million in 2012, the department continues to be frugal and also plans to carry over $10.5 million from this year.
Fire commissioners gave their final approval on the budget in a second reading this week in a special meeting. The first reading was on Nov. 14.
The fire department also continues to carry a 25-percent reserve.
Construction of Station 6, located at Sprague and the Interstate 90 off-ramp, will cost $1.5 million. It will take $400,369 to pay for a new fire engine, and $265,000 to complete the new administration building near Wilbur and Montgomery.
Other costs include the department’s participation in the CARES program run by the Spokane Fire Department, which is aimed at helping frequent callers of 9-1-1 get access to the social service agencies they require.
There will also be no increase in the tax levy for 2012 due to lower property values and the statutory limit of $1.50 per $1,000 in assessed value.
The fire commissioners were generally pleased that the department will keep spending to a minimum next year.
“I am really impressed with all of you to come up with a budget that is 5.6-percent less than a year ago,” said Commissioner Joe Dawson. “I think that’s really incredible.”
In other news, the fire commissioners:
- agreed to spend $50,000 from the Commissioners Contingency Fund for a death benefit per a collective bargaining agreement with the Local 876. The amount will be awarded to a firefighter who was diagnosed with terminal throat cancer. It was determined by the state Department of Labor and Industries that the cancer is duty-related due to exposure as a firefighter.
- learned that Spokane Community College will discontinue its paramedic program in fall 2012. Current and anticipated state budget reductions are to blame for the loss of the program, however Inland Northwest Health Services is working on developing its own classes.