The Berlin Town Council voted 4-1 to approve the FY2023 budget on Monday, with Councilmember Troy Purnell voting against it and Councilmember Dean Burrell absent.
Berlin Fire Company President David Fitzgerald spoke to the council about the necessity of changing how fire and EMS services are funded. Fitzgerald pointed out that the “flat funding” that has been the protocol since 2008 has led to substantial funding losses and has left the services in the dust compared to other town departments.
“If you put these large developments (in other areas into the budget), we need to be at the table,” Fitzgerald said. “We’ll do the best we can … But we cannot continue operationally to have a flat budget.”
“This may be a shock to you, but since 2008 … we’ve lost $1,168,500 (in funding).”
Tyndall pointed out that funding overall has increased for the fire company, especially $125,000 that’s earmarked to give it leeway to hire additional staffing.
The approved budget also included language identical to changes the council made in its Recovery Act spending plan.
“(I would like to) make the same motion from the ARPA plan to include the reduction in the mobile radios by $124,000, the text amendment for the fire (company) to (state) ‘capital projects to be determined by the council,’ the reduction of the $54,000 grant to businesses, and we did not have the stormwater in there because it’s projected to be determined, so those funds would be just removed from (the budget),” Tyndall said.
FY23 will start on July 1.
This story appears in the print version of Bayside Gazette on May 26, 2022.