Last year's MOFD budget (2011/12) showed an almost balanced budget with $19.6 million of revenue, $19.7 million of expenses, and $6.7 million in cash reserves. However the budget for 2012/13 shows an operationg deficit of almost $1 million.
The District has a bond debt with a current outstanding balance of $24.7 million plus significant pension and retiree medical benefit liabilities. These liabilities are discussed in Section VI of this report.
$16.3 million of the annual expenditures are employee expenses with 80% of that amount allocated to firefighters; the remaining 20% to administrators. The average firefighter costs the District $235,000. Excluded from this number is the hidden expense of unfunded but vested employee pension and retiree medical benefits. The Task Force estimates these would cost an additional $70,000 per firefighter for the next 30 years to pay off thus bringing the total annual wage and benefit cost per firefighter to $305,000.
The District has a long range forecast extending to 2017. But since it has bond debt extending to 2022 and pension liabilities stretching out 60 years, the Task Force believes limiting their long range plan to five years is unrealistic. The Task Force, therefor, has taken the District's five-year forecast, extended it to 2023, and then created an alternative vision of a long range plan including more realistic assumptions for the growth of some expenses and the requirement that other expenses decrease so that the employee benefit liability underfunding can be addressed.