New London - The City Council on Thursday approved the fire department's $8.4 million budget proposal for fiscal year 2013, a 3.7 percent increase over the current year's plan.
Fire Chief Ronald Samul told the council that the current year's estimated spending, about $8.12 million, is a reality at this point, meaning the department will end the year about $870,000 over its approved $7.25 million budget.
Next year's increase includes more money for overtime to compensate for six firefighter vacancies, as well as to meet contractual obligations that reflect increased benefit costs of about $188,000 and a bump in salaries of 4.5 percent next year. Samul said $65,000 has been budgeted for this summer's OpSail 2012 event. The six firefighter vacancies will remain through the year, Samul said.
"There's no padding in this budget," Samul said. "Once we set a budget, we'll work within it with the resources that are allocated for us."
- Sasha Goldstein