County Fire votes for limited brownout
Facing a likely cash flow shortfall in April, the El Dorado County Fire Protection District has decided to head it off by browning out a station and applying for a line of credit.
Making that decision at a special board meeting held Jan. 22, Board President Dennis Thomas opened the meeting by saying the district had a cash flow, not a budget problem, and despite what they were proposing to do, he expected the district to end the fiscal year $300,000 under budget as long as nothing unexpected happened. Thomas went on to note that the district had already cut its budget by $1.2 million from the previous fiscal year as a result of new contracts struck with the firefighters, retirees and chief officers as well as internal cuts that had been made.
However despite all these measures, Thomas said additional actions were needed because the district wouldn’t receive all its revenue until mid to late June.
“It has been this way for several years now,” he said, “but I don’t anticipate this problem next year or the years that follow.”...
Chief Mike Hardy added,
“A year ago we were $1.5 million in the red. A fiscal crisis was looming, layoffs and possibly bankruptcy … However, as the newly appointed fire chief, I asked the board to give me some time because I was pretty confident we could make it. I promised the board we could cut $1.2 million from our budget and we’ve actually cut out $1.5 million … We are on track to be a very successful, dynamic fire agency and I’m very proud of everybody for doing it. The problem now is we have a cash flow issue.”