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The Times
  • Little Falls waiting for decision on fire contracts

  • The purchase of an ambulance for the Little Falls Fire Department remains on hold.

    That is according to Mayor Robert Peters who said during Monday’s meeting of the Police and Fire Board the city is still waiting for a response from the towns of Danube and Manheim in regard to the department’s fire protection contracts. The town of Little Falls has agreed to a contract, he said.

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  • The purchase of an ambulance for the Little Falls Fire Department remains on hold.
    That is according to Mayor Robert Peters who said during Monday’s meeting of the Police and Fire Board the city is still waiting for a response from the towns of Danube and Manheim in regard to the department’s fire protection contracts. The town of Little Falls has agreed to a contract, he said.
    “The offer on the table is a three and a half percent increase, and that’s really the best the city can do,” said Peters. “I understand the towns’ position of not wanting to override the two percent property tax cap, and I understand they have to look out for the interest of their residents, but the finance committee and myself have to look out for the residents of the city of Little Falls. I believe $36,000 for fire protection is a fair price and hopefully the towns will agree with that position.”
    The Manheim Town Council last month conducted a public hearing on the town’s 2013 fire contracts, during which Supervisor John Haughton explained the council’s reasons for wanting to restructure the town’s fire districts. Among the reasons he said the current boundaries were established 70 years ago, there has been a 21 percent increase in the amount paid for coverage in  the last four years and International Organization for Standardization ratings have changed.
    Under the restructuring the town would reduce the number of fire districts from four to three, with District No. 1 consisting of 20.25 square miles covered by the Dolgeville Volunteer Fire Department, District No. 2 consisting of 4.75 square miles covered by the St. Johnsville Volunteer Fire Department and District No. 3 consisting of three square miles covered by the Little Falls Fire Department.
    Peters said he expected to receive a response from the Manheim Town Council after their Dec. 11 meeting and a response from the Danube Town Council after their Dec. 14 meeting.
    “If the towns choose not to accept the offer, then the city will have to weigh its options,” he said.
    The Police and Fire Board members asked that a deadline of Dec. 21 be established for the towns to notify the city of their decision, so the fire department could prepare for any changes coverage.
    “The firefighters have to know what their responsibilities are,” said board member George “Kip” LaQue. “If there is a call or multiple calls on Jan. 1, 2013, they need know if they should respond.”
    Peters said should Danube and Manheim agree to the fire protection contracts, the city would have to explore its contract with the town of Little Falls to determine if it would need to be amended.
    The Police and Fire Board voted unanimously to recommend the purchase of a $144,097 ambulance to the Common Council in August. The council voted to table action on the proposal in October and again in November, pending the outcome of the fire protection contract negotiations.
    Page 2 of 2 - If the new ambulance is purchased, Little Falls Fire Chief Rob Parese said Ambulance 601 would be used in a reserved role, while Ambulance 605 and the 2012 Chevrolet Type 1 ambulance with four-wheel drive would be used as the department’s primary response ambulances.

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