Consolidate fire districts
TO THE EDITOR: Town of Essex residents: For many years, we having been working toward consolidating our two fire districts. This was not an option five years ago due to the difference in the two districts' tax rates. District 2 tax rate was $3.88, $2.63 more than District 1, which is not true anymore; the rates are within 2 cents of each other.
Many towns are consolidating fires districts — for example Westport and Wadhams, Willsboro and Reber. We would still have two stations; that would not change. We have been told by a District 1 commissioners that we will never consolidate and there would be no cost savings. How is that? If we reduce our insurance to one policy, we could save as much as $5,000 a year, possibly more. That $5,000 equals 10 percent of District 2's budget. Do the commissioners from Essex District 1 realize that District 2 has almost $100,000 saved from 2007, the last year of the higher tax rate?
Now we are told that the ambulance squad is going to separate from the fire company so they can bill insurance, and they want tax dollars to accomplish this, while not reducing the fire districts' budgets. Only one ambulance squad in Essex County receives tax dollars. In these times of reducing, our fire and ambulance want to increase our taxes. We need to reduce where we can; many things cannot be consolidated or reduced.
If we as residents petition for consolidation, they will have to consolidate; I think this is what we need to do. We elect fire commissioners to represent us, the residents, just like town supervisors and council people, not to represent their personal feelings or agendas. It is time for them to listen to the people and not find new ways to tax us to death. More information is supposed to be presented at the town board meetings, please attend so you will not be surprised when you receive your tax bill.
We as residents need to take responsibility and attend meetings, especially budget meetings. Once the fire departments pass their budget it is submitted to the town and there is no changing it, so if we want input we need to be there. Essex Fire District 1 meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. Essex Fire District 2 meetings are the first Wednesday of every month, both are held at their respective fire house. Special "budget" meetings may be scheduled for other dates. Please check with a fire commissioner for a schedule of meetings.
Nancy L. Dougal
TO THE EDITOR: The Saranac Central Class of 1980 is planning a 30th class reunion. Our address list is limited and we are seeking your assistance. If you are, or can connect us with our SCS classmates from 1980, please contact us at SCSClassof1980@yahoo.com with the contact information. This will save us a tremendous amount of time! Details of reunion to follow! Thank you.
Kathy Latour Snow
Charlene Supernaw Baker
Molly Waldron Lamora
Jenny Miller Coulon