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No Tax Increase Expected in Fire District Budget

The fire election vote is Saturday.

 

For the fifth year in a row, the fire district budget—which voters will go to the polls for Saturday—will pose no tax increase to residents here.

The total Cinnaminson Fire District budget for 2013 is $3,748,628. Of that, $2,741,234 will be raised by taxation. The remaining funds are from budget surplus, grants and more.

In October, voters approved a referendum for the fire department to go out to bid for two fire trucks. About half of the $1 million needed for the trucks was saved for over the years, Fire Chief William Kramer said.

“We’re in pretty good shape,” Kramer said. “It truly is the work of all the different entities that make up the district—commissioners, management team and career staff.”

Most of the fire district budget goes to salaries—about $1.9 million of it. Capital purchases and health insurance are second while vehicle maintenance and leases, utilities, programs and more make up the rest of the budget.

The fire district tax has remained the same for the last five years, Kramer said.

“It’s relatively the same budget with the exception of the apparatus acquisition,” Kramer said.

Kramer said he expects specifications on the two new trucks back from the district’s private contractor this week. They could go out to bid soon.

The vote will be held from 2 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16, at the community center.

“We do everything we can to keep the increases down,” Kramer said. “We see no reason why we wouldn’t get significant community support.”

Ric February 19, 2013 at 12:09 AM
@Chief Kramer - 1 0f 2 Before I start, no one, including myself, is denigrating the services of the FD. I appreciate those who serve the public. Both of my grandfathers were cops, one died in service in Jersey City – but that was back during the depression but my mother told me much about him.. Thank you for the invitation. The information I am requesting should be shared with the general public and the Patch is a better forum to reach to all the good citizens who choose not to attend council meetings. I do not think either of us has to worry that the Patch editors will edit what is being said. As you well know, if 25 votes went the other way, your 2013 budget would have been defeated. Many voters want to know the size of a surplus on the FD’s books and how much more of a surplus is in the 2013 budget. There is not a tax increase for 2013 because of surplus but no details are given to residents about the surplus. Will you please advise about the surplus? I am glad to read that staffing has been reduced in the past few years. But frankly more has to be trimmed. I do not believe it should take a fire chief, a fire marshal, a chief, fire inspector, and an administrator to handle only a 1,000 inspections per year and issue hundreds of permits, etc. That workload averages out to 1.5 inspections/permits per person per workday.
Ric February 19, 2013 at 12:10 AM
@Chief Kramer - 2 0f 2 Also, please explain how that $948,800 is paid to the fire fighters? Other than to call it “stipend” you don’t explain how firefighters are paid. As it has been pointed out by many, our town is much smaller (and poorer) to Moorestown yet our FD is much more costly. And at the same time, both of our fire stations are located on our far borders (and on the same side of Rt. 130). I believe Cinnaminson would be better served by one brand new fire station which is centrally located near the PD. It could be easily afforded by selling the two other stations and economies of scale – eliminating personnel and equipment which was only required by the two station setup. In closing, I hope you will explain the surpluses as well as payroll costs and consider bold ways to run the fire department efficiently for us tax payers that are about to be asked to pay for a new high school.
Resident Since 1961 February 19, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Well Ric, you still don't get it. We have one paid Engine Company that can get to you fast while the volunteers bring up the rear and complete the job. Great math with the 1.5 inpsections, but if you knew what you were talking about you would know that only the Fire Prevention Office is authorized by state law and must be licensed to conduct inspections. If they went to one station they may not be able to reduce the Fire Engines, something called "fire Flow and Department ISO rating. Say we eliminated two engines, your home owners insurance may increase by $300 to $500 per year because our ISO Rating (rated 1 to 9) may drop 2 points or so. Just think for a little more than the cost of a pack of Marlboro's each week ($8.47 or so) We get Fire Service, EMS Engine, Inspections, and more. Every year they have saved numerous lives and property. Most of the surplus is genetated when they get a grant, and can use the budgeted line item for tax offset and savings. I think your barking up the wroung tree, attend some meetings and learn something, unless unfounded opinions are your MO.
Ric February 19, 2013 at 11:56 PM
@Resident since 1761, Let me ask again: 1.) Is the surplus that the CFD is hiding in excess of one million, five million, or more than ten million dollars? 2.) How many firefighters share in the $948,800 that was budgeted? Is it 10 firefighters getting $94,800 a year? Now why are of all of you guys at the firestation avoiding telling the truth about your hidden surplus and wages? As far as homeowner’s insurance, most residents would pay lower premiums with a centerally located fire station instead of two stations located on our far borders. Of course thos who live in Delran and Palmyra would benefit by our stations being practically in their towns. I am not going to respons to anything else you said because you are trying to divert attention from the surplus and payroll excesses. Let me end by saying: 1.) Is the surplus that the CFD is hiding in excess of one million, five million, or more than ten million dollars? 2.) How many firefighters share in the $948,800 that was budgeted? Is it 10 firefighters getting $94,800 a year? WHY IS THE CFD AFRAID OF TELLING TAXPAYERS ABOUT THE SURPLUS BEING SQUIRELED AWAY AND THE SALARIES BEING PAID FIREFIGHTERS?
William Kramer February 22, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Ric. We are not hiding anything. No matter what you are told you are going to disagree. You are the one avoiding the truth by continuing to speak about things you have no clue of. An example is your comment in the post about Mr. Phillips where you state that the fire department is hiding "millions" of dollars in surplus. Did you ever wonder why no other public offiicals (elected or appointed) reply on Patch anymore? It is because of people like you. So you see you are actually doing a dis-service by you constant negativity and spreading your misinformation. I will anwer your two questions and then will not reply to you on this venue again. 1. The Cinnamindon Fire District is anticipating a $200,000 surplus by the end of FY13. That is less than the 10% recommended in sound municipal accounting practices. However, based on unanticipated expenses this may go down or in the event of unanticapted revenue and less expenses may go up. 2. As stated numerous times, we have 14 sworn full time personnel. They are the ones that recieve salaries. Not sure why that has not clear to you. By the way, the fire marhsla and fire inspector generates enough revene to offset their actual salaries. If you want any more information, attend a meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners. I noticed you were not there last Tuesday. Bill Kramer, Chief

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