In Other News

It took right around 15 minutes for the Sedona Fire District Governing Board to approve the 2017-18 tentative budget.

The vote came during the May 17 meeting. The final budget will be approved during a public hearing at the board’s Wednesday, June 21, meeting.

By law, now that the tentative budget has been approved, the amount can be decreased prior to final approval but it cannot be increased.

As it stands, the budget for the next fiscal year is $16,994,094. The equates to an increase of nearly $1.1 million over the current fiscal year’s budget of $15,854,789 or around 6.8 percent.

Included in that are a few new non-firefighter positions, fleet maintenance, an increase in training, a 3 percent cost of living bump and bond-related expenditures.

The bulk of the budget comes by way of wages and benefits at nearly $12.7 million while $2.8 million falls under the operational fund.

Finance Director Gabe Buldra said the assessed value of homes — which dictates the amount a homeowner pays in taxes to the district — in Coconino County increased by 5.48 percent over last year while in Yavapai County it was up 5.4 percent. This equates to $13,854,892 in revenue to the district, which makes up the vast majority of the budget.

In regard to the proposed $18 million bond, which the board will vote upon next month, Buldra said, “Until there is an actual decision on the bond, from both the board and the voters, we’ll continue our official projections of being under the assumption we will not have that [bond].”

If approved by the board, the public will vote on the bond in November. Funding would cover replacing two stations and improvements to two others.


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