It All Adds Up

The Jamestown Fire Department will exceed what was budgeted for overtime in the 2013 budget.

On Monday, Chet Harvey, deputy fire chief, discussed the overtime and the proposed 2014 fire department budget with City Council during a work session. Harvey said they will exceed the overtime because of nine injuries to firefighters this year. As of the end of October, the fire department had almost already reached what was budgeted for overtime for the whole year. Joe Bellitto, city comptroller, said he projects the fire department will exceed the budgeted amount by about $30,000 this year.

Harvey said the amount budgeted for overtime this year was lowered by about $30,000 because in 2012 there weren’t as many injuries, which leads to less overtime. He also said the department aggressively tried to maintain overtime costs with new scheduling techniques. However, the new scheduling didn’t work because of the amount of injuries sustained throughout the year.

Harvey did thank City Council members for obtaining $575,000 in grants for new vehicles, which included a new fire engine and ambulance.

”That really helped us out because we have an aging fleet,” Harvey said.

Not much is changing for the Jamestown Police Department’s budget for 2014. Harry Snellings, Jamestown police chief and public safety director, said next year’s proposed budget ”almost mirrors” the department’s 2013 version. Snellings said there are at least two planned retirements, but could be as many as four in 2014. He said the city’s payments toward the retirement system are decreasing because of the new Tier 5 and 6 pension plans implemented by the state for employees to pay more.

”With the two tiers, the city’s contribution is less,” Snellings said.

The police chief said the capital projects budget for 2014 is about the same as this year’s. He said the only big-ticket price item is a new digital fingerprinting machine. He said as of Oct. 30, 76.4 percent of the funds appropriated for the department had been used, so the department is within its budget.