The budget for the Waitsfield-Fayston Volunteer Fire Department is up 6.6% this year or $8,044. The proposed budget for the year that begins July 1 is $129,824.
The budget reflects a reduction in insurance costs of $1,065 based on the rates provided by the town’s property and casualty insurer (VLCT PACIF). The fire department faces increased costs for telephone and dispatch as well as radios and radio repairs. Dispatch services, currently received through Capital West (a multi-agency dispatching entity with service provided through the Montpelier’s Police Department), are 88% of the line’s total and assumed to increase 4% from FY21. The increase estimate is from a meeting in late 2020 with a Capital West representative.
The 4% increase is paired with a second, separate, projected increase tied to a system upgrade to be performed by Capital West. The estimated annual cost to the town is $2,500.
Capital West will pay for the town’s repeater to be moved ($4,800; to be co-located with one used by Mad River Valley Ambulance Service). The town is responsible for the $4,500 simulcast upgrade. That line item also includes the department’s phone and internet bill.
The proposed budget includes $500 for ladder/hose testing. The department is regularly testing its ladders and hoses for compliance with applicable standards and to ensure everything’s in working order. The slight increase is tied to the anticipated need to replace sections of hose that don’t pass the testing process and need to be discarded as a result.