The SVFD Board of Fire Commissioners adopted a $37.5 million budget for 2018, including $1.57 million for capital expenses. The budget allows for minimal growth in most programs and is about 1.6 percent lower than prior year, due to Liberty Lake Station #3 construction costs in 2017. Voter approval of the maintenance and operations four-year levy in February 2015 will generate $19.3 million in property tax revenue in 2018, more than 53 percent of the total budget.
View the 2018 Budget
No personnel additions are planned in 2018. However, a small number of additional firefighters may be hired (based on retirements).
The 2018 budget includes $1.57 million for capital projects:
- Apparatus – two replacement staff vehicles, two more payments on the new Ladder 10 Tractor-Drawn Aerial (TDA) loan. No engine purchases are planned in 2018.
- Facilities – final lease payment to take ownership of Millwood Fire Station #2, Liberty Lake Station #3 final construction costs
- Equipment – new Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBAs) for all firefighters; new extractor (washing machine) for firefighter turnouts (PPE – Personal Protective Equipment) at Edgecliff Station #6; one new Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC).
Allocations for pension and medical funds are included in the budget, along with an estimated 2018 fund balance (year-end reserves) target of $10.4 million.
Tough Decisions Ahead
The Board of Fire Commissioners also reviewed revenue and expense projections for the next five years. Although the 2018 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 2017 Budget
View the 2016 Budget
The Spokane Valley Fire Department operates with funding from property tax revenues generated through a Regular Levy and a Special Levy (Maintenance and Operations – M&O). Voters are asked to approve the M&O Levy every four years, which provides about 53 percent of the Department’s funding for maintenance, operations and capital projects. The Total Levy Rate (Regular + Special) in 2018 is $2.99 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation, down from $3.11 per $1000 in 2017 due to higher assessed valuation of property in the SVFD service area.