In recent months, the village of Fonda Board of Trustees led by Mayor William Peeler has been in negotiations with the town of Mohawk Board of Fire Commissioners looking for ways to cut operating costs in Fonda.
At an initial savings of about $15,000 a year, a deal to get rid of the village fire department and have the town provide fire coverage looks great on paper.
However, the village fire department has become a local staple, taking the lead on numerous local activities. The Fonda Volunteer Fire Department helps to organize and participate in several local events, such as the annual Fonda-Fultonville Memorial Day parade, the Fonda Halloween Children's Parade and Open House, and the annual Montgomery County Youth Day. The department also provides safe off-street parking across from the Fonda Speedway for the weekly races, as well as the Fonda Fair.
Without the firemen providing the parking services, there will not be safe off-street parking other than the limited space within the fairgrounds. This will be especially important during fair time when thousands of cars can utilize the parking service. The Fonda department also has one of the only fire department chaplains within the county, who is able to provide an array of services to the community.
Soon, the doors will close, the equipment will be sold and the community will be at a great loss with no local support to turn to.
It saddens me to think the current administration only thinks in dollars and cents, and cannot look at the services provided that you can't put a monetary value on.
Fonda Volunteer Fire Department