The SVFD Board of Fire Commissioners adopted a $38.1 million budget for 2017. The budget allows for modest growth in most programs and includes $4.2 million in capital expenses, up from $2.04 million in 2016, due to the planned construction of relocated Liberty Lake Station 3. Voter approval of the special four-year levy in February 2015 will generate $18.6 million in property tax revenue in 2017.
View the 2017 Budget
Two minor personnel changes will take place in 2017 – the addition of a part-time (80%) administrative assistant (currently a temp agency position) and an increase from part-time (80%) to full-time for the Information Services Specialist position. There are no plans to hire additional firefighters in 2017.
The 2017 budget includes $4.2 million for capital projects:
- Apparatus – one new aerial ladder truck (ordered in 2016), one new pumper engine, a new rescue boat and two replacement staff vehicles
- Facilities – Liberty Lake Station 3 ($3 million for construction) and Millwood Station 2 (annual lease payment)
- Equipment – a variety of operations equipment, along with information systems software and hardware upgrades.
Allocations for pension and medical funds are included in the budget, along with an ending fund balance (reserves) target of $9.8 million.
Tough Decisions Ahead
The Board of Fire Commissioners also reviewed revenue and expense projections for the next five years. Although the 2017 budget is in good shape, SVFD faces challenges in the next few years due to capital expenditures.
“We pay cash for nearly all capital assets, which quickly eats up our reserves,” explained Fire Chief Bryan Collins. “When coupled with the inflation rate of capital items, the result is that we will be faced with some tough decisions on capital items as we move forward.”
View the 2016 Budget
The Spokane Valley Fire Department operates with funding from property tax revenues generated through a Regular Levy and an Excess Levy (Maintenance and Operations – M&O). Voters are asked to approve the Excess Levy every four years, which provides about 52 percent of the Department’s funding for maintenance, operations and capital projects. The Total Levy Rate in 2016 is $3.25 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation.