Dedicated fire house fund at issue in York
A single issue of contention has prevented the Town of York from coming to an agreement with the York Fire Department on the town’s 2009 contract for fire protection: Should the fire department receive money to stow away for the future construction of a new fire hall?
The town board is skeptical about taxing its property owners for a project which does not yet exist. The volunteer firefighters contend that it makes economic sense to spread the expense of a building expected to cost $3 million over a long period of time and to have cash on hand when the project does commence.
As a consequence, no 2009 protection contract between the department and town has been signed. The fire department has been operating without a contract for the last seven months.
Town of York Supervisor Gerald Deming indicated that the overall budget for the town in 2009 allows for a three percent increase in the costs of fire and ambulance protection. Beyond that statement, Deming is not at liberty to disclose details of his town’s negotiations with the fire department, due to their contractual nature.
Firefighters claim the present buildings, the circa 1950 York firehall and circa 1940s Retsof firehall, are outmoded and in need of repair. They note that the merger of the York and Retsof departments has condensed the need for two new halls into a need for a single new hall.
Complete story appears in our July 23 print edition.