WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published October 13, 2010, 10:18 PM

EGF Fire and Police Departments Present 2011 Public Saftey Budget

Public Safety was the main topic of conversation Wednesday night at the East Grand Forks Council Meeting.

Public Safety was the main topic of conversation Wednesday night at the East Grand Forks Council Meeting.

The fire and police departments presented budgets to the council to give them an idea of what they need this coming year.

The fire department recently got a new fire engine to help them with their calls. Improvements like this help both departments when it comes to public safety.

"Our city council is pretty easy to work with," said Randy Gust, East Grand Forks Fire Department Chief Randy Gust," Fire Chief Randy Gust said.

That comes in handy when it is time to look at budgets for the Fire Department and Police Department in East Grand Forks.

"We're able to keep our training up and maintain our firefighters as far as training and firefighting," said Gust.

With a small increase in wages, public education sessions and overall training, the proposed 2011 budget for the Fire Department is a little over $1 Million - up nearly $37,000 from last year.

"Every year our runs increase, we usually have a lot of medicals..about 71 percent of our calls are medicals. That's something we feel is a necessity in East Grand Forks," said East Grand Forks Police Chief Mike Hedlund.

"Public safety overall is a bit over 41 percent of total city budget, a very large chunk of it goes to public safety."

Over $3.3 Million to be exact. A budget shared by the Fire and Police Departments. The police department itself is requesting over $2.1 Million - down $9,000.

Hedlund would like to beef up the police departments technology.

"We're planning on two new squad cars, updating our mobile data in those cars and computerize our dispatch. It'll enable us to look at our data more effectively and respond to citizen needs more effectively," said Hedlund.

"Our city administrator does a good job of being straightforward with us on our budgets. Everything works fairly well. Hopefully it'll be the same tonight," said Gust.

The City Council will vote on the budgets in December.