Story and photos by JENNA BAILEY
The DeFuniak Springs (DFS) City Council held a budget workshop meeting on July 23, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at the DFS Community Center. The purpose of the meeting was for the council to discuss the 2019-20 budget by department. The departments that presented their revenue and expenditures at the July 23 meeting were the Fire Department, Police Department, and Public Works Department.
First to present was DFS Fire Department Chief Charles Burney. Chief Burney spoke on the fire department’s expenditures; budget; justifications; and funding requests. Funding requests included a captain to help with tasks; software for an exhaust removal system; and a place to store excess equipment. Chief Burney also spoke briefly on statistics of the leading cause of death for firefighters. Previously, the leading cause of death for firefighters was a heart attack. Currently the leading cause of death for firefighters is cancer.
Second to speak was Police Chief/City Marshal James Hurley. Chief Hurley spoke on police department expenditures and funding requests. Funding requests included better amenities and general repairs for the police department building; vehicles in better condition; surveillance operation/investigative equipment; a K-9 Unit; and vehicle aesthetic improvements (fresh paint etc.). Chief Hurley informed that there is a potential donor willing to cover the cost of the K-9.
The last presenter for the July 23 budget workshop meeting was Public Works Director Craig Drake. Drake spoke on general operation costs for areas such as cemetery; facilities and maintenance; operations; materials, and gas. Drake requested an employee for the cemetery and expressed the public works department need for equipment.
A second budget workshop meeting took place on Tuesday, July 30, at 5:30 p.m. at the DFS Community Center. The report on the July 30 DFS City Council budget workshop will be in the August 7 issue of the Herald-Breeze.