Planned expenditures by the Houston Volunteer Fire Department will inch just over the $350,000 mark this year, budget projects approved by the District of Houston council indicate.
And nearly one-third — $100,000 — of that amount on a budget of $353,919 represents internal transfers to various District reserves for future spending requirements.
Approval of the department’s 2022 budget came at council’s Feb. 15 meeting, a move designed to fit with the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako’s own plans to finalize its budget.
That’s because the Houston department provides fire protection to a portion of the rural area outside the District’s limits and the regional district provides a fee for the service. For 2022, that will amount to $17,094.
The department is also forecasting $3,000 from handling tasks for Emergency Measures B.C.
One significant purchase planned by the fire department this year is turnout gear, carrying a price tag of $26,620.
But there are no other significant capital expenditures planned for this year.
Its last major capital expenditure came just last year with the purchase of a new rescue truck at a cost of $373,602. Trading in the old rescue truck did bring the price down to $354.102.
Salaries make up a good portion of the operating budget with contract services coming second.
In terms of capital expenditures, the department anticipates having to replace a command truck next year and has attached $60,000 as the estimated cost.
Its next anticipated major purchase is a new fire truck in 2025, now estimated at $775,000, followed by another fire truck in 2030 at $800,000. Both figures are subject to change based on tenders received when the vehicles are wanted.
The department’s most significant project, however, is a new firehall, something that is at least 10 years down the road at a project cost, in today’s dollars, of $7 million.