Under Emergency Procedure, Fire Budget Approved

Due to the cancellation of this Thursday’s Turkey Creek Township Fire Board meeting, which lacks quorum, Turkey Creek Township Advisory Board members voted on the proposed 2014 fire territory budget at their regular meeting Monday. An approved preliminary budget is needed for township trustee Barb Griffith to present to the Department of Local Government Finance July 22. Normally, the fire board is the first to review the yearly budget.

“According to contract, we need an approved budget on or before July 15,” said Fire Chief Mickey Scott. “You will have to approve it under emergency procedure. There’s no other way.”

Board members Kim Cates and Dennis Darr found no issue with the proposed operations budget, which includes a $70,000 increase over this year’s budget. They approved it unanimously.

At $1.5 million, the proposed 2014 operations budget accounts for a 20 percent increase to health insurance ($50,000) and an increase to PERF ($70,000). Fire territory employees will not see a salary increase.

“Right now, it is very close to 2009’s budget,” explained Scott. “I don’t think most businesses could say that about their budgets.”

The 2014 equipment replacement budget is proposed at $170,000, which will account for a new grass truck and building maintenance. It was also approved.

Township trustee Griffith also presented a proposed 2014 budget for Turkey Creek township, which reflects a $13,500 decrease from 2013’s budget. At $195,205, the decrease accounts for a one-time purchase of cemetery property earlier this year.

Budgeted increases are slated for insurance, professional services and recreation. The recreation increase accounts for $7,000 for the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex, in addition to the annual $7,000 for the town park’s lifeguards.

Griffith had proposed to reduce the cemetery fund to $25,000, but board members urged her to keep the line item at $30,000. New fencing and headstone repairs are slated for 2014 in the township cemeteries.

In his report, Scott said there were 98 EMS calls and 16 fire calls during the month of June. Due to an emergency call at the same time, outdoor warning sirens, normally tested on the first Saturday of the month, will instead take place this Saturday, July 13, at noon.

The Turkey Creek Township Advisory Board meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of the month at Syracuse Fire Station 2. The next meeting is Monday, Aug. 12.

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