Positive financial news took center stage at Monday’s Turkey Creek Fire Territory board meeting.
Fire Chief Mickey Scott reported several items reflecting a fiscally healthy department:
• The department received a refund of $1,013 from its workers’ compensation policy, attributable to a favorable risk factor recalculation. Year to date, the department has been refunded $6,052 in premiums.
• Employee health insurance premiums for all department employees, effective Dec. 1, will remain the same through the end of November 2015. The rates have not increased since Dec. 1, 2013. The board unanimously appointed Scott as the employer group authorized representative to sign the renewal election form.
• There will be no salary increases for fiscal year 2015. The board unanimously approved a salary resolution, to be send on to the township advisory board.
• The fire territory will no longer be responsible for payment of lost wages for injured employees covered by the state’s police and firefighters fund. Those reimbursements will now be determined and paid through the state’s 77 PERF program.
• With more than 83 percent of the year elapsed, the department has spent only 56 percent of its allotted budget, though Scott anticipates the usual bump in holiday and overtime during the year’s final two months.
In other news:
Several department members attended a CSX railroad emergency training class last month “The first half of the day was in the classroom, and the second half was hands-on training,” said Scott.
Training topics included railroad safety, initial response procedures, incident management and unified command, documentation of shipping papers, hazardous materials and crude oil safety, types and controls of various railroad train cars and locomotive operations and safety.
“This was a very informative class with much new information obtained and procedures learned,” Scott said.
Final corrections following the station one renovations have been completed except for a couple of minor items. Two overhead door openers will be replaced within two weeks. The department has configured vehicle parking so the temporary inoperability of the doors will not affect emergency responses.
After considerable research, the department has advertised for bids to replace its grass truck, according to the replacement schedule. “We are working to have this information available for the board members so that approval for the purchase can obtained yet this year, a vendor can be named and the funds for this purchase can be encumbered from the 2014 equipment replacement fund,” reported Scott.
Scott thanked the public and all board members who attended Saturday’s open house at station one. “Furthermore,” he said, “we would like to thank all of the executive board members that worked with our department in seeing this project through.”
Finally, Scott announced the upcoming annual awards banquet is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13. He invited the board members to attend.
The board will next meet at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8, at Syracuse Town Hall.