Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fire District "Consolidation" . . .

Here is a Question for proponents of the proposed Whitesboro-Oriskany-Whitestown Fire District "Consolidation" that creates a new unit of government not directly answerable to voters: 

Will the new Consolidated Fire District pay the Village of Oriskany and the Village of Whitesboro for their respective fire department assets (stations and equipment)? 

If so, how much will each village be paid, and how was the price determined? 

If not, then is not the Town getting something for nothing (a vote over use of village assets)?

I do not live in any of the jurisdictions involved so I'm ... 

Jus' askin.'   :-) 
More Thoughts . . .

Village Whitesboro
Village of Oriskany 
Town of Whitestown
Joint Fire District Propaganda 

From the above links the Oriskany link is most informative.   It appears that the Villages will be GIVING their equipment to the new FD, and the FD will lease the stations. What is the value of the equipment to be given away?  What assets, if any, will the Town give -- and what value? What will be the terms of the leases?  How will the rents be determined? Which village gets the better deal? What happens if down the road the FD and a village cannot come to an agreement on a lease?

This OD article from June points to another issue . . . 
Whitesboro Mayor Patrick O’Connor presented figures obtained through the government-transparency group See Through New York of the Empire Center for Public Policy that indicated New York Mills’ revenue from contracts for fire control exceed its expenses by as much as $266,390 over a five-year period. 
[Mayor] Bialek appeared taken aback.
If NYM is making a "profit" from its fire operation, are not the Villages of Whitesboro and Oriskany doing the same? If so, what "profits" are these villages giving up in this deal?

If they are not making a profit, you have to ask yourself "Why not?"

[The word "profit" is a bit misleading. It actually is a "return on the Village's investment" in real estate, equipment, and personnel PLUS A RETURN FOR THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH RUNNING A FIRE DEPARTMENT. (If you do not understand the risks, ask the Village of Prospect)].

Have these Villages overspent on their FDs? Is this deal a quick way for village officials to cover up their mismanagement or poor negotiation skills?

The OD's tone in the article [the note about Mayor Bialek being taken aback] reminds me of another regionalization that the OD pushed 20 years ago: The regionalization of the Utica Board of Water Supply. [Utica readers should note who was mayor when the ball got rolling on that one, and who is again running for mayor this year.] The dynamics of that effort look similar to this one. Except for suburban developers, I do not think you can now find anyone paying MVWA's exorbitant cost for water who thinks that regionalization of the water system turned out well.


Anonymous said...

The other question that couldn't be answered at the puppet show (joint town/village meetings on this topic)if the district is approved what would be done with the fire tax money that is paid to the town or village coffers that overlaps with the new district taxes ? No one was ready to refund the tax payers. Another windfall for the town/village. There is a whole lot of people who are going to be making out on tis deal EXCEPT the tax payers......

Anonymous said...

The money that is currently paid in taxes already does not go to the Fire Department also the village currently pays for the department twice. Once in their town taxes and once in their village taxes.

Strikeslip said...

Anon 858 - Tax for a town fire district is a separate tax only paid by the residents of that FD. Village residents are not part of the town fire district because they have one of their own. So how do village residents currently pay twice? I don't understand that.