Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

NCFPD approves 2023-2024 budget

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The North County Fire Protection District board approved the 2023-2024 NCFPD budget.

The board’s 5-0 vote Tuesday, Sept. 26, adopted a budget which anticipates $25,313,900 in revenue. The budget forecasts $23,719,160 of operational expenses while a $7,578,000 capital budget will reduce district reserves from $13,268,403 to $7,265,103.

“We’ve established a capital facility reserve account,” NCFPD fire Chief Keith McReynolds said.

The $1,042,000 in the capital reserves is not included in the $7,265,103 overall reserves. The capital budget also calls for $4,098,200 for facilities, $1,436,000 for apparatus, $528,000 for equipment, $190,000 for non-firefighting staff vehicles and $283,100 of debt service. The 2022-2023 capital expenditures were $3,226,892, including $1,098,952 of debt service.

The revenue includes money from the fire mitigation fee which is paid by developers to fund the cost of fire department facilities serving the new development. Because the funding is used for capital improvements, it is not required to be spent in a particular fiscal year. The 2023-2024 budget forecasts mitigation fee revenues of $250,000.

Property tax payments are the fire district’s primary source of revenue. The $20,604,200 of anticipated property tax revenue is complemented by $3,750,200 of ambulance fee revenue, $213,000 from fire prevention fees, $124,500 of interest payments and $372,000 of other revenue.

The expenditures reflect a 7.82% salary adjustment and a 5% Consumer Price Index increase. Salaries and benefits account for $19,376,430 of expenditures.

The capital projects include $2,018,800 for Station 3 in Rainbow. A design-build contract to add 1,740 square feet and renovate another 777 square feet was authorized during the April 25 board meeting; construction is anticipated to begin in February 2024. The replacement or renovation of Station 4 in Pala Mesa is in the design stage, and $1,268,100 has been budgeted for that. Another $463,300 has been budgeted for station expansion, and $350,000 is budgeted for the remodel of the NCFPD administration building on Main Avenue.

The district plans to spend $774,400 for a new Type I engine used for structural fires, $400,000 for a new brush engine, $262,000 for a new ambulance, $192,000 for portable radios, $125,000 for new engine equipment, $68,000 for a wheel lift, $63,000 for gurneys, $15,000 for a generator and $20,000 for other equipment. The debt service will cover $235,100 for Station 5 in Bonsall and $48,000 for solar energy generation facilities.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].


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