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Vacancies, Retirements Pushing Boise Fire Department Overtime Over Budget

The Boise Fire Department, which budgeted more than $20.8 million in salaries for FY 2013, has already spent more than $1.6 million of its budgeted $2 million in overtime

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The good news is that the city of Boise's latest financials for the 2013 fiscal year indicate revenues and expenditures are "following the expected trends with very minor deviations," according to the city's Finance and Administration Department. The bad news is that some city departments are burning a bit too much of the midnight oil.

"Overtime is substantially higher than this time last year," according to the latest quarterly financial report which will be presented to the Boise City Council this Tuesday, May 21.

The FY 2013 second quarter, which concluded March 31, showed that 70 percent of the city's budgeted overtime expense has already been exhausted with the year only half over (at the same point last year, 54 percent had been exhausted).

And while most city departments are well within their overtime budgets, the Boise Fire (81 percent YTD), Police (60 percent), Information Technology (77 percent) and Finance and Administration (182 percent) departments are all exceeding a 50 percent threshold in their annual overtime spending plans.

In particular, the Boise Fire Department, which budgeted more than $20.8 million in salaries for FY 2013, has already spent more than $1.6 million of its budgeted $2 million in overtime.

"Fire's constant staffing costs continue to remain elevated primarily due to a significant increase in the number of vacancies from retirements and due to increasing leave usage," wrote the city's budget analysts. "The appropriations of funds for a recruit class to fill these vacancies will allow the department to better manage to its revised FY 2013 budget."

Conversely, the Fire Department has spent very few of its budgeted dollars for professional services (3 percent) and major equipment (3 percent).

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