Contemplating a $1.147 million budget, the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department will hold its final budget hearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 16 at the fire station on Hardscrabble Road in Pine, said Fire Chief Paul Coe.
Up $57,000 from last year's budget, big ticket items included in this year's proposed budget are:
- $90,000 for a new ambulance;
• $30,000 for an exhaust evacuation system and $15,500 for concrete repair in the Strawberry Station on Fossil Creek Road;
- $16,500 for a new cardiac monitor and $5,000 for a water tank to be located at the Pine Station on Hardscrabble Road.
Even with the increase, the proposed budget is expected to lower the tax rate from $2.36 to $2.29. That means that for a home with an assessed valuation of $100,000 in the Pine-Strawberry Fire District, the tax bill will be $22.90.
Tax revenues are projected to amount to $910,784, Coe said. The remaining $230,000 comes in ambulance revenue, state reimbursements for firefighting and the money raised for the siren alert system.
Coe was able to save the fire district some money by obtaining some free equipment from the state. While looking for the new ambulance, Coe found some equipment available from the Arizona State Land Department.
"In the conversation, it came up that they had other equipment. It was stuff that we needed -- we made application for it and they awarded it to us," Coe said.
The two freebies replace an aging Hurst tool (commonly called the jaws of life) and a broken cardiac monitor. Coe calculates a savings of $23,000 to the P-S Fire Department.