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Stony Brook Fire District Stays Under Tax Cap in Proposed Budget

Spending would rise by 1.6 percent.

The Stony Brook Fire District on Tuesday broke down a proposed 2012 budget that would keep the increase in taxes below the 2 percent tax cap imposed by state lawmakers earlier this year.

The proposed budget of $1,886,680 represents a 1.6 percent increase – amounting to $29,680 – over the 2011 budget. Half of the 24 categories of budget disbursements would remain the same as they were in 2011, while six would decrease. Should the board of commissioners approve the proposed budget, taxes would go up by about $7.69 per household.

"I would say it's very fiscally conservative," said Paul Degen, chairman of the board of fire commissioners. "...We're a very conservative board, but we do take fire protection very seriously in the district, and we're always looking to increase fire protection for the taxpayer."

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When one resident suggested looking into refinancing the district's debt, Degen said it is already being discussed. Another item in the proposed budget that seemed to draw some concern from those present at the hearing: "cell tower rental income," which did not have an amount listed next to it. While there are no concrete plans to install one, Degen said it has come up at meetings as a possibility for generating revenue.

"We're trying to think outside the box," he said. "...Stony Brook is a prime site because we get such poor reception."

Expenditures 2011 Adopted Budget 2012 Proposed Budget Increase (Decrease) Percent Increase (Decrease) Employee salaries
$280,000
$260,000
($20,000)
(7.1) Utilities $105,000 $90,000 ($15,000) (14.3) Building maintenance $100,000 $90,000 ($10,000) (10.0) Fire prevention $25,000 $20,000 ($5,000) (20.0) Fuel $32,000 $30,000 ($2,000) (6.25) Misc. expenses $236,000 $200,000 ($36,000) (15.3) Hydrant rental $25,000 $30,000 $5,000 20.0 Medical/physicals $20,000 $30,000 $10,000 50.0 Replacement fire equipment $12,500 $17,000 $4,500 36.0 Retirement incentive Does not apply $95,680 Payroll processing Does not apply $2,500 Apparatus maintenance $115,000 $115,000 - - Insurance $290,000 $290,000 - - Fire fighting equipment $30,000 $30,000 - - Uniforms $8,000 $8,000 - - Annual inspection $30,000 $30,000 - - Band hire $2,500 $2,500 - - Debt service principal $195,000 $195,000 - - Debt service interest $43,000 $43,000 - - Legal $25,000 $25,000 - - Reserve funds $65,000 $65,000 - - Service award $210,000 $210,000 - - Medical supplies $8,000 $8,000 - -

Data provided by the Stony Brook Fire District.

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