By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
Keizer Fire District responded to 15.7 percent more calls in 2017 and the 2018-19 proposed budget with an increase of $581,900 or 8.3 percent accounts for that.
Resources have increased by $1,193,748 over the previous budget. While the majority of the increase is due to higher than anticipated project carryover, property taxes and ambulance billing revenue are projected to increase by more than $600,000.
The budget allows for the continuation of all current programs and services while also increasing staffing by one firefighter/paramedic. But the number of full time equivalent remains at 35.5 due to the deletion of the volunteer coordinator position that was unsuccessful during the grant process.
Nearly all increases in the proposed budget are related to personnel services, including a 4 percent cost of living adjustment in salaries, 13.9 percent increase in health insurance and 25.6 percent increase in workers compensation insurance, along with the addition of a firefighter/paramedic.
Materials and services have increased by 3.2 percent, with the greatest increase coming from the addition of $25,000 in a radio maintenance line for an annual fee for a radio system that is under construction.
Since most equipment has been purchased through the bond, capital outlay needs have decreased by $15,000. The proposed budget includes the final year of the five-year local option level of $0.59 per thousand. The district will be on the ballot for a renewal of the levy in November.
Reserves and contingencies have increased by $20,000.
The district will continue to have three funds—the general fund, which consists of four organizational units—administration ($1,665,885, fire ($335,854), EMS ($2,095,780) and training ($398,901) the capital projects fund ($250,000) and the bond fund ($318,073).
Administration sees an increase of 11.3 percent and EMS 10.2 percent.
The budget committee approved the budget on Wednesday, May 16 and sent it to the Keizer Fire Board of Directors for adoption during its regular meeting on June 19 at 7 p.m.
A copy of the document may be obtained at the station, 661 Chemawa Rd. NE from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.