DAYTON — Dayton will hold steady with its fiscal year 2013-2014 budget, which was approved by Dayton Town Council at its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday. Budgeted revenue and expenses are just over $600,000, with expenses projected slightly higher than revenues.
“We hope we meet that; we may have to pull from reserves this year, but we’re fortunate that we have the reserves to pull from,” Treasurer Vicki Cotton said.
Maintaining a flat budget while dealing with more people in town is challenging, Town Clerk Linda Lofgren said.
“We have no projects and are just kind of maintaining what we have,” Lofgren said. “We may be adding a seasonal worker because we’re still dealing with the same amount of people that we were 15 years ago, and we have 65 more homes, and just more everything that we’re responsible for, so we’re going to look at that.”
The seasonal position — which would operate April through October — is not currently in the budget, Lofgren said, but Dayton does a mid-year budget adjustment in December and will evaluate the possibility of adding the position at that time.
Also on the agenda was a discussion with Dayton Fire Chief Charlie Linhart about whether he could move outside city limits and remain fire chief. Linhart said he was moving approximately one mile outside city limits, and Council members agreed there was nothing in city ordinance that would prevent him from doing so.
The Council voted unanimously to approve the move and retain Linhart as fire chief. The matter did, however, spark discussion about how to bolster numbers in the volunteer fire department, particularly on the rescue team.
“The hours and training involved to become an EMT (emergency medical technician), to be on the rescue, it’s really hard to commit to that. It typically costs a whole summer, and for family people to be away from their kids and their families for that long just to become a volunteer is pretty tough to do,” Linhart said.
New regulations require 160 hours of training to become a certified emergency medical technician and 80 hours to become certified in basic emergency care.
“The department has 22 members between fire and rescue both. That’s not bad for a town this size, but the rescue side of it is where we’re hurting. It’s just tough to get people to make that commitment,” Linhart said.
Linhart said he hopes to speak with Sheridan County School District 1 Superintendent Marty Kobza about implementing a BEC certification program at Tongue River High School in order to recruit new rescue team members.
“He implemented a deal with a red card class last year, and out of that we had two high school kids, fresh out of high school, pretty gung-ho about joining the fire department, which is pretty exciting for new firemen or young firemen, so hopefully we can talk to him about maybe getting a BEC class going through the high school and possibly getting some younger kids interested in that,” Linhart said.
In other business, Lofgren administered the oath of office to Dayton’s new municipal Judge Joelle Hadley-Day.
Hadley-Day holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wyoming and currently operates a private practice at Hadley Law Office in Sheridan, specializing in domestic relations, criminal defense and juvenile court.