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Fire department budget gets preliminary approval

New command truck part of spending plan

The District of Houston is still some ways from finalizing its operations and capital budgets for this year but it has given preliminary approval to the fire department’s spending plans.

And that’s to mesh with the Bulkley-Nechako regional district’s own budget timetable because it pays the District for fire protection provided by the Houston department in the designated rural area of Area G.

This year, the regional district has told the District the percentage of property values in the designated rural area for fire protection is 4.83 per cent, amounting to $24,913.

In total, the Houston fire department’s budget for this year is $575,050, a figure that includes $288,800 in operating expenses and $286,250 in capital spending.

One major expenditure coming up for the department is a new command truck budgeted at $130,000.

“We will be looking for a 1 ton capacity truck 4X4. Then it will be set up with a canopy with storage compartments on the outside and a slide out attachment in the bed of the truck,” said fire chief Jim Daigneault.

Emergency lights, siren and a work console in the cab are also on the list of items needed.

Daigneault said the District will put the truck purchase out to tender soon.

The District also sets aside $100,000 in a reserve account each year so that when it comes time to replace a fire truck, the District has the money on hand.

Although property taxes pay for the major of the fire department spending, it is forecasting $3,000 from Emergency Measures B.C. for tasks it may have to perform and it is getting a provincial grant of $26,500 which will go to training and to pay for several sets of turnout gear.

A further $30,000 will be taken from reserves to pay for additional sets of turn out gear.

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