Charlottetown Fire Department budget to increase $111K from last year
The 5 per cent cuts come from the proposed 2016 budget, not from last year's budget
The Charlottetown Fire Department is countering the claims that a 5 per cent cut to the department will hurt public safety, as the cut comes from the department's proposed 2016 budget, not from what it received last year.
"If you look at the budget line for the Fire Department, there's actually an overall increase of $111,805 since 2015. Our budget was $3,623,147 in 2015 and is $3,734,952 for 2016," said Fire Chief Randy MacDonald in a written release.
- Charlottetown fire chief says 5% cut won't impact service to public
- Charlottetown firefighters' union upset with $200K budget cut
According to the city, the department proposed a budget of $3.9 million for 2016, which was cut by 5 per cent, bringing it down to $3.7 million.
$17K less for training
The proposed budget for training for 2016 was $73.9 thousand. That was the same as what was allotted to training in the 2015 budget. This year, the training budget has been cut to $40,451, which appears to be a 45 per cent reduction.
However, in 2015, only $57,694 was actually spent on training. The training budget for this year has been cut to $40,451, meaning a reduction of $17,243 from what was spent last year.
"It is our view that the training budget should have been increased, not cut by half," said Canadian Union of Public Employees national representative Bill McKinnon in response to the reductions.
"The deduction to the training budget does not affect critical or annually required training," said MacDonald. "It reduces off-Island travel for conferences and conventions for 2016 and ensures that funding is only spent on training that is necessary for the job."
The annual firefighters ball, an event that costs $20,000, was also cut from the budget.
The union had also raised concerns about plans to delay purchasing a specialized washer for bunker gear.
In the release MacDonald responded saying, "It certainly would have been more convenient to have a washer and dryer at the station, but it would have cost approximately $43,500. We currently take care of cleaning the turnout gear in-house after every incident, as needed, and clean it professionally when conditions require it. The gear is also inspected by a third party agency and gear that doesn't pass inspection is decommissioned."
With files from Donna Allen
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