Liz Kellar

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November 8, 2013
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Nevada County Consolidated Fire District to discuss 5-year budget

The board of directors for the Nevada County Consolidated Fire District has called a special meeting Tuesday morning to discuss its five-year budget projection.

Newly hired Fire Chief Adolf Zubia told the board at its last meeting that it was “one accident short of being broke,” saying his goal was to create an operational reserve that would see the balance build to $400,000 over a three-year period.

Zubia and his administrative team have compiled a five-year financial projection that incorporates and anticipates impacts such as pension costs and other mandates to be reviewed at the special meeting.

The fire district has struggled in recent years with decreased revenue due to falling property taxes, said board treasurer Mark Bass.

“If you go back 10 years, you could always guarantee (revenues) were going to go up by 3 percent, due to property taxes going up,” Bass said. “You were going to get enough money to allow for some of the known increases. You know PERS (retirement) costs are going to go up; you know insurance costs are going to go up; you know medical costs are going to go up. Now, the last three years, we’ve seen our (revenue) actually drop.”

Other than its share of the county’s property tax revenue, the district’s principal sources of revenue are a special assessment and a special tax approved in 2012.

According to Bass, the five-year projection will try to assign some numbers to “some pretty serious unknowns” — including PERS, which is reportedly considering some “big adjustments.”

In addition to the presentation on the budget projection, the board is slated to discuss in closed session its ongoing negotiations with Local 3800 Union representatives over matters such as pay, pension, vacation and health benefits.

The board will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Station 84, 10135 Coyote St., Nevada City. For information, call 530-273-3158.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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The Union Updated Nov 9, 2013 11:03AM Published Nov 13, 2013 07:47AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.