Letter: Lake Valley Fire deserves our support, yes on ‘B’ (Opinion)
This letter is in response to Toni Hall and Tom Yant whose letters were printed on Feb. 14 (“Why I will be voting ‘No’ on Measure B” and “LVFPD needs to budget for equipment from its big lard pot”). I want to begin by saying “Yes” on Measure B.
I have to wonder if either of them contacted Lake Valley Fire Protection District with their questions, as their information is misleading and incorrect. Our fire district is available to talk with you about Measure B (530-577-3737), or you can go to their website (lakevalleyfire.org).
Ms. Hall and Mr. Yant stated that the revenue for the district in 2018/2019 was budgeted as $6.8 million, and salaries and benefits were $5.3 million. This is not correct. Budgeted base pay was $3.2 million and budgeted overtime (a necessity in fire agencies) was $175K.
The rest of the salary expenses went towards typical payroll costs like Medicare, unemployment and worker’s compensation. In addition, much of the overtime is reimbursed when firefighters respond to large fires, and it does not carry over to their retirement wages.
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They also stated that taxpayers provide $6.8 million to the district, but in fact we only pay $4.9 million. The other revenues are from the sale of old equipment, ambulance service reimbursement, property inspections, etc.
These are only a few of the misrepresented facts, so it is important for us as neighbors and taxpayers to seek out the truth.
Our firefighters work very hard, are dedicated, and grateful for what they have. They do far more for our community than what is required by their job descriptions. I believe their budget projections for the future are conservative and sound. They deserve our support.
I urge you to vote yes for Measure B.
Dave Reynolds, South Lake Tahoe
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