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Fire district board considers proposed budget at hearing

The Pagosa Fire Protection District (PFPD) board of directors meeting Tuesday night encompassed the public hearing on the 2012 proposed budget.

Some of the highlights in the proposed budget are as follows.

The proposed beginning balance for 2012 is $1,063,415 with an ending balance of $1,029,509. General property tax revenue is $923,035, down $368,583 from the 2011 budget level.

The district manager and fire chief positions have been combined, with Fire Chief Diane Bower having the confidence of the board and staff that she will be capable of the dual role. In 2011, $94,463 was budgeted for the fire chief, though only $55,103 was spent, due to Chief Ron Thompson’s midsummer resignation. For 2012, a dollar amount of zero is budgeted for the fire chief position. Instead, an amount of $82,800 is budgeted for the district manager/fire chief position, an increase of $10,984 over the former district manager salary.

For the 2012 budget, the total payroll and benefits expense is $549,813, a decrease of $68,411 than what was budgeted in 2011.

A large cut is proposed in the professional services department. In 2011, $20,000 was budgeted for other professional services. Zero is budgeted for 2012.

Fire operations has been budgeted with a near $20,000 decrease, at $80,847, instead of $100,217 in 2011.

Fire prevention is also cut, down to $6,200 as compared with $17,665 in 2011.

Capital expenses have been budgeted at zero dollars for 2012. An amount of $40,376 was budgeted in 2011 and $28,779 in 2010.

The building improvement fund is budgeted for a consistent zero.

Vehicle purchase is budgeted at zero, a significant decrease from 2011, which had $43,300 budgeted and $67,393 spent.

The transfer to the pension fund will decrease by $53,426, from $182,811 to $129,385.

The proposed budget will be presented to the board for approval at the Dec. 12 PFPD board meeting.

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