Budget season is here. The Budget was brought forward to the Board of Commissioners for a First Viewing Monday, October 7. On Monday, October 28 the Board of Commissioners voted to pass the proposed 2020 Program Budget. The passing of this budget ensures the SVFD remains Efficient, Effective, Affordable, and Sustainable and able to keep this community safe.
With the release of the budget, we are embarking on work throughout the 2020 year that directly relates to our Capital and Strategic Plans. This budget in addition to the Levy dollars that were supported in the 2019 vote outline and confirm our priorities for 2020.
With this budget, we will continue to make the Spokane Valley Fire Department more sustainable to the people we serve, accountable to their expectations and aligned with their voter approved priorities from the passing of the 2019 Levy.
We are committed to continuing progress on rapid response times and public education of life saving techniques such as “Stop the Bleed” and “CPR.” The SVFD is the only accredited Fire Department in Eastern Washington and maintains a WSRB Rating of 2, one of the top ratings in the nation. The SVFD is also nationally known for their PIT Crew CPR that additionally has a save rate that is almost twice the national average. As part of the 2020 budget, we are proposing to add 6 new Firefighters.
These public safety investments combined with the levy our citizens approved in 2019 which includes the following components, keep our community Forward Focused, Solution Driven and most importantly, Safer:
- Provides essential funding – the M&O levy funds 54% of the Department’s annual operating budget including firefighters and training needed to continue providing the high level of service our community has come to expect.
- Keeps up with growth – projected call volume and population increases as well as inflation are factored into the M&O levy dollar amounts
- Pays for capital needs – including fire engines and facilities. Careful planning for future capital improvements using levy dollars means no bonded debt for taxpayers.
- Replaces expiring M&O levy – this is not a new tax. It replaces the expiring four-year M&O Replacement levy approved by voters in 2015.
- Requires 60% approval – unlike school levies, the M&O levy requires at least 60% voter approval to pass
Planned Capital Projects: 2020-2023
In addition to day-to-day operations, the 2019 M&O Replacement Levy will pay for the following capital projects:
- Replacement of aging fire vehicles – continue replacing emergency response vehicles as they reach the end of their useful life
- Alternative Response Unit (ARU) – place at least one more two-person ARU into service in 2020 to support new medical service delivery model, providing cost-effective service for non-life threatening emergencies
- Equipment – essential emergency equipment including defibrillators, thermal imaging cameras, spreaders (‘jaws of life’) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs)
- Sullivan Fire Station #5 Remodel – minor renovations include the addition of a lobby to provide citizens with a 24/7 safe zone, a feature in all other SVFD fire stations
- Replace aging Maintenance Facility – built 25 years ago, vehicle service volume now exceeds the 2.5 service bays currently available in our maintenance and training facility. We need to double the size to meet our vehicle service needs for the next 20-25 years. Our plan is to build a new maintenance facility in a different location which will free up space to expand our existing training facility
- Growth – based on growth trends and projections, a new fire station (#11 – near Barker & Euclid), ladder truck and the firefighters to operate them will be needed in the next four years to continue to provide exceptional service to our community.