1. #1
    Forum Member

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    Mar 2005
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    Default FEMA Operating Budget, Frugal or not??

    Hello - I am working on our 2005 Assistance to Firefighters Grant and I am confused on the Operating Budget lines.

    We were fortunate enough to receive a reward for a vehicle purchase in 2004. The vehicle is on order for delivery around November.

    I called the help desk and they said we have to add the new vehicle to our list of fleet even though we have not received it.

    Adding the financial "transaction" into our operating budget really makes it look out of wack!! No way would we be able to have a 160K expense without grant money.

    I was wondering how others calculate their operating budget for grant perposes. Do you just use your 3 year average of expenses? The grant wants the estimated average annual operating budget over the last three years. Again, the award really puts things out of wack!

    Does anyone have any advise (or experience) on trying to be frugal on grant request? We have a difference of opinion in our operation on weather to request the most inexpensive that would meet our minimum needs or more expensive options that would really work the best for us.

    One last thing - I would appreciate any successful narratives for Sirens with towers, mobile cascade systems and thermal imaging cameras.

    Thanks - this is my first post so I can't wait to hear from the experts!!

  2. #2
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    Post budget

    According to the Help Desk capital savings and vehicle purchases don't have to be listed in your operating budget. The operating budget is strictly for what keeps your doors open such as heat, electricity, equipment purchases for stuff thats been damaged etc. Please reconfirm with the help desk as your first reply from them doesn't mesh with what I've been told.

  3. #3
    FH Mag/.com Contributor

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    Default

    Grants do not count as part of an operating budget as they are not a guaranteed source of funding every year.

    Everything else counts. Basically, they want to know how much money you have to spend every year. How much are you given to run the department? Like bukstpsear, not including savings because savings is made by not spending all of your budget every year. So if the local taxing authority gives you $50K and you get $10K in donation, your budget is $60K for the year.

  4. #4
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    BC79er, thanks for the tip on excluding grant money from our operating budget. We have had several grants in the last two years that raised our expenditures.

    How do you answer the quetion " What percentge of your annual operating budget is derived from grants?" Is this 0 because the grants are over and above our operating budget? I have included our matching funds.

    Could you help me and clarify if the town has a truck saving account that is an extra tax that goes into a new truck fund, does this yearly amount have to go into the operating budget? This is not reported on the towns fire department expenses, and I don't know what the yearly amount is.

    Thank you for your help. I am waiting for a call back from the help line on these qustions.

  5. #5
    FH Mag/.com Contributor

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    If the town buys the truck and titles it in their name, not yours, then it is not part of the fire department operating budget, especially since it's not your truck. You're just using it.

    Some areas receive annual grants/assistance from their state for proper FIRS reporting and whatnot. Kentucky is one of them, although I can't remember what they call it exactly. I'd double check with the Helpdesk before submitting.

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