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Lansing Fire District

The Lansing Fire Commissioners approved a proposed $1,494,487 budget for 2020 Tuesday.  District Treasurer George Gesslein said that the tax rate is expected to be lower than last year, in part because of adjustments to the district's long term capital plan.

"It basically drops the tax rate one cent to $0.93 per $1000 (of assessed property value)," he said. "It's under the 2% tax cap, and it's under our maximum spending limit.  I think it works."

Last year's budget was $2.5 million.  $1,349,199 of that was raised in taxes, with the remainder coming from capital reserves amounting to just over a million dollars most of which paid for the heavy rescue vehicle.  So the operating budget wasn't substantially different from recent past years or the proposed 2020 budget.

The District routinely saves enough money in capital reserves to pay cash for new apparatus, which eliminates interest payments.  More money is saved with discounts for paying ahead as Gesslein is doing this week for the pumper-tanker.

$1,384,487 of the 2020 budget will be raised through taxes, and that levy falls below the tax cap calculation mandated by Albany.  Gesslein works from a 20 year equipment replacement plan that lays out when apparatus needs to be replaced. 

The district is currently in the process of obtaining a  pumper-tanker, and earlier this year took possession of a new $934,000 heavy rescue vehicle.  The pumper-tanker was budgeted at up to $934,000, and Gesslein said he will be paying $721,000 this week. He noted that caring for the fire trucks beyond their estimated life expectancy means that the district can put off the next purchase until after next year.

"We're getting some pretty good buys on apparatus, so I was able to reduce some of the cost, going forward," he said. "And we're hanging onto the apparatus a little bit longer."

The budget will be subject to a public hearing on October 15th.  It will likely be approved later that evening,  after the public hearing.  By law the budget must be approved before November 4th.

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