Press release from Jerry Diskin:
The Board of Commissioners of the Le Roy Fire District has concluded its budget review and has developed the Proposed Budget for 2019.
Through redistribution of funds within budget lines, the District was able to work within the guidelines, bringing the proposed budget in under the NYS 2-percent tax cap.
The Proposed Budget of 2019 was adopted Oct. 23, prior to the deadline of Nov. 4, as specified under NY State Law.
This year’s budget reflects a reduction in the tax rate of 5 cents, from $1.63 down to $1.57 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
Specifics of this year’s budget include Workman’s Compensation Insurance cost that will exceed $58,000. In 2017, the Fire District saw an increase in this cost by over $44,000. Workers' compensation insurance cost increased from $7,800 in 2016 to more than $52,000 in 2017. This was as a result of a “reevaluation” of rates by Genesee County’s Self Insured Workman’s Compensation Insurance.
As a result of this increase the Fire District has had to reduce the budget for other necessary expenditures to cover this additional cost.
In addition, beginning in January, the District will be required by law to provide “Firefighter Cancer Coverage” insurance that will cover all interior firefighters, in addition to firefighters of record from 2013 to date. The projected costs are estimated at $140 per firefighter per year. The total impact will amount to approximately $5,000 to 6,000 in additional unfunded mandates involving insurance costs in the 2019 budget.
Another area of cost increase is in firefighter personal protective equipment specifically “turnout gear,” which includes, coat, bunker pants, helmet, gloves, hood and boots. This year an effort was made to obtain $40,000 for 10 “sets” through the American Fire Grant. The application was unsuccessful as the Grant programs have been significantly reduced in both numbers and dollars. This same Grant request is being resubmitted this month.
This budget reflects significant increases in apparatus and equipment maintenance costs and upgrades due mainly to the increasing age and complexity of the apparatus.
The Public Hearing on the 2019 Budget was held on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the District Conference Room. The budget approval vote was held on Tuesday, Oct. 23, during the regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Le Roy Fire District.