Spokane Valley Fire Department commissioners heard a presentation on the department’s 2012 budget Monday. The department expects to spend $29.1 million for everyday operations, plus $2.3 million to build a new Station 6, purchase a new engine and other capital projects. The projected 2012 revenue is $31.2 million and the department expects to carry over about $10.5 million at the end of 2011.
A new expense for 2012 is the department’s participation in the CARES program run by the Spokane Fire Department. The program assists residents who call 911 frequently with issues they may have by connecting them with social service agencies. The goal is to reduce the number of times they have to call for help. The department has been participating for free but is now being asked to pay $10,000 a year, said Fire Chief Mike Thompson. “We thought there was a good value in that program,” he said.
There are a few one-time expenses in the 2012 budget tied to the completion of the department’s new administration building that is under construction. There also are plans to replace several automated external defibrillators, get a new power unit for extrication equipment and purchase a new hose tester. Right now firefighters hook hoses up to an engine and run them at full pressure to test them, Thompson said. Getting a hose tester will save “wear and tear” on the engines, he said.
Commissioner Joe Dawson said the $31.4 million 2012 budget was more than 5 percent smaller than the 2011 budget of $33.3 million. “I think that’s admirable, given today’s economy,” he said.