Back in 2008, the City of Lauderdale Lakes, partnering with Matrix Consulting, studied BSO’s call responses (units rolled, response times, etc.)[cleeng_content id="233881955" description="Why stop now? It's just getting interesting!" price="0.99" referral="0.10"]This work, to determine the highest legally possible fire fee rate, split the BSO Contract Cost 62% (fire fund) / 38% (EMS fees). Those rates were approved by Resolution in 2009.
The 2009 Fire Rescue budget provided:
- $6.5M: BSO Fire Rescue contract
- $2.6M: EMS paid for by General Fund
- $3.9M: paid for by the Fire Fund
- Correctly split 62/38
- Fire inspection fees are included in the Fire Fund.
- From 2011 to 2013, the EMS share/portion of total contract dropped from $2.6M to $2.14M
- Instead of 38%, it’s now only 30% of the contract
The Fire Fund (fires response use only) increased from $4.28M (62%) to $5.001M (70%) – which also includes fire inspection fees.
And how did they pull this off?
:JA: and :ME: jacked the fire special assessment fees by 33% — a move that clearly exceeds the legal limit set forth by the City’s own study.
Last year, the Broward County OIG dinged Lauderdale Lakes for “transferring money from funds currently in deficit status.” And according to the 2013 budget, the Fire Fund, still in the red, is banged for another $75,000.
Also worth noting are other unexplained fund transfers ($170,000/Stormwater and $150,000/Solid Waste).