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  • 2015 AFG Grant Application changes

    Looks like they have removed the box that was there last year to put in an over-match amount. Be sure if you are that you clearly mention it in your Project Description and Budget section of narrative.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

  • #2
    Yeah, they chose to know if you have a rainy day fund, and how much you had in it. Jeff
    If God be for us, who can be against us. Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the light.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by EMT6126 View Post
      Yeah, they chose to know if you have a rainy day fund, and how much you had in it. Jeff
      Yep, you and I have had conversations about that before if you recall. I believe that too many were not bothering to disclose that little gem of information in their financial need statements; that's why I have always asked them and make sure it is in the narrative at least.
      Kurt Bradley
      Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
      " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

      Comment


      • #4
        Also have to remember to explain those funds, have one that has $85k in a building fund to replace their station built in 1930. The account was opened over 40 years ago, meaning with interest around $1000 a year has been going into it per year. Have a few others that are legally obligated to keep a minimum amount of reserve funds just in case something major happens like a truck wreck or roof failure with the station. Otherwise can't touch it.

        Also seen folks with $1mil in the bank across their funds, for replacing trucks every 15 even though there's little wrong with them. On one side, they have the tax base and the ability to sell those trucks at a nice discount to someone that can't afford a new one. On the other, don't really need a grant at a certain level of reserve funding.
        Brian P. Vickers
        CEO - Vickers Consulting Services, Inc
        FH.com/Firehouse Mag Contributor
        www.helpmewithgrants.com
        www.facebook.com/vcsinc

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BC79er View Post
          Also have to remember to explain those funds, have one that has $85k in a building fund to replace their station built in 1930. The account was opened over 40 years ago, meaning with interest around $1000 a year has been going into it per year. Have a few others that are legally obligated to keep a minimum amount of reserve funds just in case something major happens like a truck wreck or roof failure with the station. Otherwise can't touch it.

          Also seen folks with $1mil in the bank across their funds, for replacing trucks every 15 even though there's little wrong with them. On one side, they have the tax base and the ability to sell those trucks at a nice discount to someone that can't afford a new one. On the other, don't really need a grant at a certain level of reserve funding.
          Good point!!
          Kurt Bradley
          Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
          " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

          Comment


          • #6
            Have seen this already with departments that have 50k put back for a " Rainy Day Fund ". There saying that if they was a peer reviewer, and your department needed new turnout gear, SCBA's, Hose etc. why would you compromise FF safety and dip into that fund instead of asking for a grant?
            If God be for us, who can be against us. Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the light.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by EMT6126 View Post
              Have seen this already with departments that have 50k put back for a " Rainy Day Fund ". There saying that if they was a peer reviewer, and your department needed new turnout gear, SCBA's, Hose etc. why would you compromise FF safety and dip into that fund instead of asking for a grant?
              Well there is an easy answer to that question in most cases. Because it would be a "material omission" to not tell them about it and as such could very well constitute "federal fraud" and they would have a nice jail cell waiting for them North of me in Panama City at Eglin AFB..
              Kurt Bradley
              Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
              " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

              Comment


              • #8
                Reserves have never been required to be mentioned, mostly because they are contractually obligated in many areas to be at certain levels to maintain solvency. Many if not all counties in NC require 3+ months of reserves in the bank at all times, would be illegal not to. So that's not discretionary spending that could be used for PPE under any circumstances per that contract. Seeing a lot of that now that it's being asked.

                Again some don't have these issues and have $1mil in the bank, mostly all volunteer or limited payroll combination departments who've managed to keep a large roster so they didn't need to hire. Have to increase staffing that ability to save money from each budget goes away real fast. Old department used to have 15 on 6a-6p weekdays only, occasional paid Paramedic at night when a volunteer wasn't available for the responder car. Budget started to increase, paid guys started clamoring about them needing to be on more hours since the budget could afford it, not realizing that over 20hrs per week it becomes a FT job which requires benefits and when that happens they couldn't work there anymore since FTers would get preference. PTers would be down to 1-2 shifts every other month. And the payroll would have gone up by a factor of 6. But I digress.

                Again, have reserves report as required and then explain them along with how long it took them to get to that level. $1000/year in savings is proper fiscal responsibility if you have it, and if that's all you have to repair a station, repair a truck from a wreck that insurance isn't covering, drive safe and don't run the truck into the building and have to fix both...
                Brian P. Vickers
                CEO - Vickers Consulting Services, Inc
                FH.com/Firehouse Mag Contributor
                www.helpmewithgrants.com
                www.facebook.com/vcsinc

                Comment


                • #9
                  In regards to the question "Does your department have any rainy day reserves, emergency funds, or capital outlay? " I want to make sure that I am answering it correctly. Our department contracts with the town for fire protection services. They pay us every February/March for that years protection. Contracts last 3-4 years. For example if they gave us $100,000 for 2015 if we had money leftover in Feb/Mar 2016 we would have an overage. That overage stays in our savings acct until we need it. Whether it be for apparatus down-payments, or large unexpected bills, or if we go over-budget in future years. IE 2014 we went ~$14,000 over budget trying to get the department back on track compliance wise. Even though all of our money is stored between 2 checking and 2 savings accounts there are no monies specifically set aside for designated purposes. If we need something and have the money we get it. If we don't need it and don't have the money we don't get it.... Either way I answered yes to the question as it is December and we have approximately $25k in our accounts that needs to last till our next contract check. Would you say for our purposes I answered it right or should I have said no and explained our situation differently? I am not trying to purger myself here I just want to make sure I fully understand the question.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Disp2030 View Post
                    In regards to the question "Does your department have any rainy day reserves, emergency funds, or capital outlay? " I want to make sure that I am answering it correctly. Our department contracts with the town for fire protection services. They pay us every February/March for that years protection. Contracts last 3-4 years. For example if they gave us $100,000 for 2015 if we had money leftover in Feb/Mar 2016 we would have an overage. That overage stays in our savings acct until we need it. Whether it be for apparatus down-payments, or large unexpected bills, or if we go over-budget in future years. IE 2014 we went ~$14,000 over budget trying to get the department back on track compliance wise. Even though all of our money is stored between 2 checking and 2 savings accounts there are no monies specifically set aside for designated purposes. If we need something and have the money we get it. If we don't need it and don't have the money we don't get it.... Either way I answered yes to the question as it is December and we have approximately $25k in our accounts that needs to last till our next contract check. Would you say for our purposes I answered it right or should I have said no and explained our situation differently? I am not trying to purger myself here I just want to make sure I fully understand the question.
                    The question that the AFG is asking is if you specifically set aside funds for apparatus replacement, SCBA replacement, emergency funds etc. These are set up for one specific purpose and cannot be used for other purposes. IMHO, you need to answer the question "No". What you are describing are the operational funds, in this case do not fit the description. Even though you currently have $25K in savings it's still meant to pay your operational costs.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by onebugle View Post
                      The question that the AFG is asking is if you specifically set aside funds for apparatus replacement, SCBA replacement, emergency funds etc. These are set up for one specific purpose and cannot be used for other purposes. IMHO, you need to answer the question "No". What you are describing are the operational funds, in this case do not fit the description. Even though you currently have $25K in savings it's still meant to pay your operational costs.
                      Thanks, I had initially selected no. But then a started to question myself. I appreciate the input. I'll change it back.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm with Andy on this one,nearly everyone gets big checks 1-2 times a year for tax funding. That sitting in the bank expected to pay for this year's expenses isn't a reserve, it's when you open up other accounts and say Truck Fund, Building Fund, etc, that it goes over to reserves. To think of it another way, if your budget was $100k a year, and you only spent $95k, then by the time the next fiscal period comes around it could be argued you now have a $5k reserve because it wasn't spent within the budgeted year especially if it is still sitting in the bank. Of course ruin 2 sets of gear and that $5k is gone.

                        Short answer unless it's put in a separate restricted use account then it's not reserves IMHO.
                        Brian P. Vickers
                        CEO - Vickers Consulting Services, Inc
                        FH.com/Firehouse Mag Contributor
                        www.helpmewithgrants.com
                        www.facebook.com/vcsinc

                        Comment

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