A lot has been said about this lately, mostly in a negative sense. What I really find interesting is that most of those who banter about this number in shock and dismay, either ignore the plain facts, or do not wish to see them. You may recognize those individuals as they protest that the numbers are hidden from the public, are not fully disclosed by the SSVFD leadership, or are in violation of the new 10 year contract.
It's pretty simple to sort this out through documentation found on the TOSS website. Look at either the Town Manager's Letter of Appropriation to SSVFD Chief Bob Harvey or the contract.
There you ll find the following "black and white" facts:
1. The base rate set for this fiscal year was $344,000 equivalent to $0.02 per hundred of the property , not the $300,000 (approximately $0.017 per hundred as appropriated last year) stated by so many detractors. In fact, more than one person has indicated that the SSVFD had "reneged" on the contract by "demanding" more than $300,000. If the TOSS council had only approved the later amount, it would have been the council that had "reneged".
2. $50,000 of the payment is related to the new required 800 MHZ radios. This is not part of the SSVFD budget, but an arrangement agreed upon to lighten the impact of a near $250,000 expenditure. The SSVFD agreed to borrow this money, to be paid over a five year period. The move to 800 MHZ is due to the replacement of the entire county communications system that will go into operation late winter of 2011.
3. The actual budget increase is $129,000 which represents a $.0075 per hundred increase. This was actually negotiated down from the $0.01 request from the SSVFD.
So to "sum" this up, the base for the SSVFD contract cost to the town was $344,000 + $129,000= $473,000.
Someone might say, still, the SSVFD is getting that $50,000,true. But, it doesn't matter whether it is the SSVFD, another vendor,or a new town FD, those radios have to be bought by or for someone. It is an unfunded mandate which is a responsibility of the towns as agreed upon with Dare County. Don't blame the county though, this situation was to be faced at some point, but accelerated by requirements of the FCC.
Due to a minor injury (I hope), I am now functioning with a patch over my right eye. It never occurred to me that composing a post nor locating the mouse pointer with one eye closed could present such a challenge, Hopefully the above and future posts over the next 24 - 48 hours makes as much sense to the reader as it did to me.