Manlius village fire budget explained

The Manlius Town Board has asked the village for more budget details to support the adopted fire department spending plan.

The adopted fire budget for 2008-09 calls for an 18.4 percent increase for a total of $762,609. Last year's budget was $643,838.27.

Town Supervisor Mark Tetley addressed the village board in a letter dated April 24. He reminded the village that the town bears an overall 56 percent of the cost of the fire budget.

"The [town] board is deeply concerned with the rate of increase being proposed for Manlius Fire Department contained in the preliminary village budget," the letter stated. Tetley wrote that while the board went over the information that was provided them, they found there was not enough detailed information for a thorough analysis. However, some items did stand out, including $30,000 funding for emergency radios, and $46,000 initially budgeted for buildings and ground maintenance. Issues are explained in brief below.

When the village board prepared to cut expenses from the fire budget, Fire Chief Paul Whorrall fought back.

"I considered the cuts as something that drastically affected us," Whorrall said, who added that he was not at the particular meeting that specified cuts because he was not notified about it.

Negotiations ensued.

Emergency radios

The $30,000 funding for emergency radios is still included in the 2008-09 adopted budget even though the town asked that the village board consider removing that line item. The emergency radios were budgeted in due to the county's installation of a new radio system, Whorrall said.

"In order for me to make sure that my personnel are properly equipped, I have to put in an extra $30,000 to cover their [the county's] change," he said. "If the county gets the grant that they've put in for, that could change and that $30,000 can come out. But I can't take that chance."

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