en English
en Englishes Spanishpt Portuguesear Arabicht Haitian Creolezh-TW Chinese (Traditional)


Your Local Online News Source for Over 3 Decades

The FY 2023 Budget

Saugus Fire Chief Michael C. Newbury explains his budget to the Finance Committee-2
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Fire Chief Newbury outlines the key features of his proposed Saugus Fire Department spending plan

  The Saugus Fire Department’s aging Ladder 1 truck has already run up a $33,000 repair in the current fiscal year (2022), which ends on June 30. That’s more than half of the department’s mechanic budget for the year, which has already incurred a $2,713 overrun with about three and a half months left.

  “That’s the biggest repair I had to deal with as chief,” Saugus Fire Chief Michael C. Newbury told the Finance Committee at Wednesday (March 16) night’s meeting as he briefed committee members on the current fiscal year and his proposed budget for the 2023 Fiscal Year.

  “It’s nothing to do with abuse …. It’s 15 years later,” the chief said.

  The purchase of a new ladder truck – which has been estimated by Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree to cost something “north of $1.7 million – is one of several key issues that the chief addressed in his FY 2023 budget proposal booklet presented to Finance Committee members at Wednesday night’s meeting. “Ladder 1 has gone through several major repairs in recent years, including an engine rebuild,” Chief Newbury wrote in a memo to the Finance Committee related to his FY2023 Capital Improvements Requests.

  “It is the opinion of our Department Mechanic and outside vendors that a replacement should be a priority for the Town. The current ladder truck would be kept as a reserve,” the chief wrote.

  Other key issues outlined in the chief’s budget booklet include:

  • Focusing on maintaining an aging fleet of department vehicles
  • Addressing facility repairs at both stations, including a capital investment in apparatus bay doors to replace the failing ones currently installed.

  The chief noted that the Fire Department facilities at both stations need general upkeep and upgrades to maintain operational readiness. “At Central Station the apparatus bay doors are at the end of their useful life. The phone system also needs attention as the organizational structure of the Department has changed,” Chief Newbury said.

  “Administrative parking could use additions next to the current spots for the Chief officers. Essex Street needs upgrades to its communications and the addition of a central climate control system which has been discussed with Facilities. Both stations need general maintenance,” the chief said.

  In addition, the Fire Department is considering an upgrade of existing technology resources. Chief Newbury said an online payment portal would improve the process of collecting fees and invoicing. “We would also like to upgrade the technology in the joining Training Room at Central Station to meet the demands of online and virtual training sessions while enhancing in person trainings,” the chief said.

  Two thirds (3,263) of the Fire Department’s 4,931 total responses for the 2021 Fiscal Year, which ended on June 30 of last year, involved Emergency Medical Services/Rescue runs. Three percent – or 134 – of the runs involved a response to fires. False alarms totaled 618 – 13 percent – of the total responses, according to the report presented to the Finance Committee. False alarms have been as high as 900 in previous years, according to Chief Newbury.

Contact Advocate Newspapers