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Town of Johnstown: 2019 year in review vol. III

Volunteer Fire Departments (VFD) were on edge, while the supervisor conducted a consolidation empowerment grant that was to evaluate the departments, notably during a time of bankruptcy of the local EMS Ambulance Services. Though a study may be beneficial the route taken was unprofessional by leaving the VFD clueless and segregated. I do not stand for such action and side with the VFD’s that the way it was handled was wrong. The community is highly vested in its VFD’s and jointly we should act together, not segregated. As of the last meeting, I questioned the grant status and was informed that the state is going back through the application because it was lost and will respond in due time.

Proposed Financial Plan by the town supervisor states: “The present town supervisor was responsible for budgets beginning in 2017 and 2018. In each of those years, revenues exceeded expenses which resulted in the reduction of the negative fund balance to a negative balance of $46,000 if the years 2017 and 2018 are indications of what the future results of operations hold, it will be almost 20 years before even half of the fund balance at December 31, 2012 can be restored.” Bruce Van Genderen, Dec. 12, 2019. This equals continual spending that is focused on the highway department. The department must reduce purchases and provide longer service life on equipment in order for the community to become financially stable.

For 2020 the major concerns would be the fire department study, capital and financial plan, fuel protocol, proposed water and sewer feasibility studies, town insurance, employee accountability, and employee attendance. Concentering on these few items is needed. I don’t believe in kicking the can down the road and indebting the town as proposals suggest. The town should not be operating on a bond/debt scenario for its purchases and wasting tax dollars upon desire when a logical plan can be created to assure appropriations.

Councilman Timothy Rizzo

Johnstown