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It’s budget time at Fire District 3

Next year’s budget may be discussed at this week’s meeting of Island County Fire District 3 commissioners.

Commissioners will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, at district headquarters, 5535 Cameron Road in Freeland.

The district’s proposed 2010 budget is about $10,000 more than this year’s $1.86 million budget, said Chief Dan Stout.

He said a major new expenditure will be $225,000 to upgrade turnout gear worn by firefighters — boots, jackets, helmets and the like — to meet new federal recommendations.

Stout said there are no plans to ask voters this year for a levy increase for a new headquarters and training facility at Bayview, which has been on hold for more than a year.

“With a new chief coming onboard, that’s not on the plate right now,” Stout said. “The district is trying to hold the line through this economic crunch.”

Last week, commissioners hired H.L. “Rusty” Palmer as the new chief to replace Stout, who will retire in February.

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