During the Sept. 18 meeting of the Central Coventry Fire District Board of Directors, members updated the district about recent progress that has been made leading up to annual budget meeting scheduled for Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. at Coventry High School.
During the Committee Reports portion of the meeting, Board member and Equipment Review Committee Chairman Daniel Lantz explained that the Coventry (Anthony) Fire District is currently in the process of refurbishing one of its pieces of apparatus using a "glider frame" to save money. Lantz said he will continue his study to see if this could be a viable option to repair one of CCFD's rescue vehicles that is currently out of commission.
In addition, Board members reported the following points regarding CCFD's financial status:
- President Fred Gralinski stated that he and fellow board members are working with Certified Public Accountant David Krekorian and CCFD Chief Andy Baynes to formulate a new budget to be voted on by taxpayers on Oct. 21. He also said that the fire district is once again running out of money — an issue that will inevitably require additional cost-cutting measures to cover expenses until the annual meeting.
- Director Maureen Jendzejec reported that $1.2 million has been collected in tax revenue by the district since Aug. 15, but also noted that the funds are quickly being used to cover expenses.
- Vice-President Marie Baker said she has been able to work with Special Master Richard Land's office to acquire the district's financial information from the 2012-2013 budget year. She is now working with accountant Conrad Burns, to generate an Income/Balance sheet for the past year.
In addition, Baker explained that she has been analyzing CCFD's payroll and overtime expenses and was able to determine that the expenses are incurred when firefighters already working a 40-hour week work extra shifts to cover for employee vacations. According to her report, overtime is currently being paid at double time and a half.
- Director Helen Quinn shared that she has researched the district's current liability insurance coverage and deductibles. She and Director Bob Hadley are now researching health care costs, comparing Blue Cross and United Health plans.
- Director Cindy Fagan-Perry explained that she has been and continues to work with the Coventry Board of Canvassers to arrange and organize the district's upcoming annual meeting.
The Board of Directors also shared their plans to include important presentations during the next three to four meetings to explain to taxpayers in detail what factors led the district to where it currently stands, as well as follow-up presentations featuring the board's plan moving forward to get the foundering fire district back on its feet. Presentations will all be scheduled and announced publicly before the annual meeting and budget vote next month. Board members strongly urged taxpayers to attend.
The next meeting of the CCFD Board of Directors will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the Town Hall Annex (1675 Flat River Rd.) Click here to view the meeting agenda.