Belt tightening ahead

With the city dedicated to belt-tightening as opposed to tax increases to make up $2 million in its municipal budget, several departments, including the police and fire services, were asked to find savings.

The city has committed to those savings without reducing service levels.

The Daily Herald talked to Fire Chief Jason Everitt and Police Chief Troy Cooper to find out how their departments would move forward with less city funding

Fire service

The fire service achieved a budget reduction of $43,820, which is actually less than was proposed to council.

The reduction will come from $10,000 less in training from third-party providers, the postponement of several equipment improvements and replacements, a reduction in travel and advertising, and a postponement of the recruiting session.

The fire department had originally proposed a $20,000 reduction in third-party training, however council felt it was important to not reduce that budget line item by too much.

“With the new chemicals that are coming out, I feel it’s important,” said Mayor Greg Dionne. ‘There’s always something new coming out and I think it’s important we’re trained up for that.”

Operations will not be affected.

“Our level of service will not be affected,” said fire chief Jason Everitt.

“We looked at our training budget, and we will make some changes internally to make sure we can operate within the new parameters established by council. A lot of the training we can do in house.”

For more on this story, please see the April 13 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.