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  1. #1
    FH Mag/.com Contributor
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    Default The new Norm for SAFER?

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=12&id=46394

    Not the first, and not the last unfortunately. And they weren't even announced, so they flat out denied the funding. Almost sounds like someone (or everyone) in the council didn't read the guidelines, it's not like the requirements were hidden. Why apply if it's already known the funds won't be accepted?

    The reasoning doesn't make much send either. If they need 3 now, they sure as heck going to need 6 in 5 years. So if the end result is paying for 6 FFs in 5 years, why not do it at a discounted rate with the award? Don't get me wrong, at least they're rejecting it now instead of a year or two into it so the funding can be passed on to someone else. But if the merit is there to have won the award, they sure ought to take what they've won and lay out the 5 year plan. Saving a few bucks a year will build up into enough to pay for it all in year 5, and with that growth they're expecting, taxes ought to catch up by then.
    Brian P. Vickers
    www.vickersconsultingservices.com
    Emergency Services Consulting
    Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division


  2. #2
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    Default

    The department and city also considered a SAFER grant option to hire 12 part-time firefighters paid hourly, on-call wages. Martins said they ultimately decided against that plan because in addition to training and outfitting costs, DHS would require 28 hours per week of service from those firefighters to maintain funding. If DHS requirements weren't maintained, the department would lose the grant.

    ???????

  3. #3
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    Default

    With SAFER you had to fund FT hours, which is basically 56 hours a week in the fire service world. They allowed that you could hire 2 part-timers for at least 28 hours each to make that hour requirement. Remember PT workers don't get benefits, so that was the loophole for the small departments hiring 1-2 people to not have to setup health benefits, retirement, etc, etc.

  4. #4
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    Default Tax Freeze

    It needs to be understood that the State of Wisconsin has enacted a tax levy limit that only allows municipalities to increase it's tax levy by 2% in CY 2006 and 2007. The Republican Party is highly touting a 0% levy limit in 2008 if they take control of the Governor's Office. Thus, municipalities, even growing ones, are struggling to find matching funds in the subsequent years to pay for SAFER positions. The first year or two may not be a big pinch, but it is the subsequent years the communities are worrying about. Look for similar refusuals from other Wisconsin municipalities.

  5. #5
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    Unhappy Safer

    You got it right!

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bcrwhitaker
    It needs to be understood that the State of Wisconsin has enacted a tax levy limit that only allows municipalities to increase it's tax levy by 2% in CY 2006 and 2007. The Republican Party is highly touting a 0% levy limit in 2008 if they take control of the Governor's Office. Thus, municipalities, even growing ones, are struggling to find matching funds in the subsequent years to pay for SAFER positions. The first year or two may not be a big pinch, but it is the subsequent years the communities are worrying about. Look for similar refusuals from other Wisconsin municipalities.
    The State of Iowa has had a freeze for many years. Further the % of accessed value against which city can actually tax DECREASES each year (now at about 46% of accessed value). Unless city has a rapid increase in accessment/market value or new construction a city's property tax receipts go down each year. Property taxes are essentially the only source of city funding in Iowa. Requires considerable creativity by us small rural communities.

  7. #7
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    Default

    People tend to get tunnel vision when tax cuts are concerned, and even if they don't they sure don't see the effect on the emergency services. Cops continue to get funded because they can prove that more highly visible cops reduce crime. FDs can't really do that in the same manner because fires are rarely chosen, outside of arson that is. Stupid mistakes, accidents, etc, all can't really be prevented because you can't legislate stupidity, and accidents will always happen. FDs need to get creative in justifying their existence because no one ever thinks they'll need the fire department for anything. "Fires don't happen in my house" is the mentality of John Q, so it's got to be presented in the proper manner to get him to agree to fund the FDs. The fire service needs to get together and make sure it's national organizations are looking out for ALL fire departments. Unfortunately, the latest Paul Combs cartoon is accurate on many levels. That needs to change.

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