APPLE VALLEY • The Apple Valley Fire Protection District is looking at ways to close a $1 million budget deficit, with retirement incentives, employee furloughs and more on the table. Officials are hoping these moves will trim enough from the budget to avoid laying off any of the district’s approximately 80 employees, though that possibility was mentioned during a special meeting of the district’s board of directors Tuesday afternoon. Chief Doug Qualls said the AVFPD is working with a 15 percent deficit of its $7.6 million budget, and they anticipate another cut next year. Qualls cited declining property values as the main reason for the shortfall, with less revenue coming to the district as the value of homes — and therefore the amount of property taxes homeowners pay — has plummeted over the last two years or so. According to AVFPD employees, they were informed about the approximate $1 million deficit in a memo from Qualls early last month.
Story by: Victorville Daily Press