Budgeting: Parks, Fire Department, Admin and Technology Fee
Taking a closer look at several funds and how they are used
Published: Wednesday, March 17, 2021
From the City Manager’s Office:
Good morning, Newcastle. Today we will discuss the Parks Capital Improvement Fund, Fire Station Fund, and the Administrative and Technology Fund. Each of these funds were created to set aside monies for the improvements of each specific area.
Parks Capital Improvement Fund (10)
This fund receives revenues through new residential building permits, referred to as linkage fees. A $200.00 linkage fee is assessed on every new residential building permit submitted. These fees are transferred each month into the Parks Capital Improvement Fund where they can be used for various park improvements for residents to enjoy. Linkage fees can not be used for any other purpose other than parks.
The Parks Board, appointed by the City Council, meets once per month to discuss park improvements. Board Members receive monthly budget reports and information related to park improvement progress. This fund coupled with State and Federal grant opportunities provides an avenue for park improvements well into the future.
Fire Station Fund (11)
Fire Station 1, located at 801 N Carr Drive was built in 1967 by a group of citizens who realized a need for a fire department to respond to emergency needs of Newcastle citizens. At that time, the Newcastle Volunteer Fire Department was created. For 54 years, the metal structure has served well. However, multiple years of flooding incidents and natural decay has taken a toll on the building. With the creation of a paid fire department in 1998, six firefighters began working 24-hour shifts at the station headquarters with a sleeping area and kitchen facilities.
Today, the Newcastle Fire Department is comprised of 18 paid shift personnel and 10 volunteers. In 2013, the City Council realizing the need for a new fire station, called for a bond election. However, the bond measure failed. City Council Members then determined the best course of action was to create a fire station fund where monies could be set aside for future construction of a new fire station. A portion of the fire station fund has been used for the purchase of land in the 600 block of south Highway 62, for the new station. On March 8, 2021, City Council approved the scope of work and fees associated with the fire station design and engineering presented by Guernsey Engineering. Construction on the new fire station is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2022.
Admin and Tech Fund (12)
Radios, computers, software, radio towers, etc., are all extremely important tools used by emergency responders. These items are also extremely expensive. One mobile radio for a police vehicle is approximately $1,200.00. The Admin and Tech Fund was created to ensure emergency responders are equipped with modern, up-to-date communication and technology equipment as they perform their jobs. The Admin and Tech Fund receives revenue through municipal citations. Funds from this account can only be used for communication and technology purchases related to the police department, communications, and court.