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Fonda may dissolve its fire dept.

November 28, 2012
By ARTHUR CLEVELAND , The Leader Herald

FONDA-The village's 139-year-old volunteer fire department may be dissolved at the end of the year, according to Mayor Bill Peeler.

Peeler and the village Board of Trustees are moving forward with contract negotiations with the town of Mohawk to allow the town's volunteer fire department to cover the village.

Peeler said the current budget for the village fire department is roughly $43,000 a year, which is about 7.17 percent of the village's budget. If the village is covered by Mohawk's fire department, it would cost somewhere around $22,000 a year.

"Why would we keep two entities with double the cost?" Peeler asked.

Village Fire Chief Donald Wagoner argued the current plan is not respectful to those who have served the community, noting the department would be taken out of their hands.

"We are not long for existence," Wagoner said.

Wagoner also said village residents may have to start paying a fire tax if the town department takes over coverage.

According to Peeler and Wagoner, all that would be needed would be a signed resolution approving a contract between the village and the town fire department. Peeler said Mohawk Fire Department may use the village firehouse after the agreement is in place.

Peeler said members of the village fire department can apply to serve in the town's fire department.

"We cannot afford the [village] fire department," Peeler said.



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