Fonda officials look at contract for fire coverage

FONDA-Village officials met in an executive session Monday to discuss a proposed contract that is meant to begin the dissolution of the village’s volunteer fire department,

The contract, which is still being discussed, could result in the Mohawk Volunteer Fire Department providing fire coverage for the village.

Mayor Bill Peeler said he received the proposed contract from the town Monday and stressed that negotiations could change the content of the proposal and the effects it would have.

“We just received a draft contract for us to look at,” Peeler said. “It’s only a draft.”

“There are still a lot of Ts to cross and Is to dot,” village Trustee Timothy Healey said.

In November, Peeler said the current budget for the village’s fire department is roughly $43,000 a year. If the village is covered by Mohawk’s fire department, he said, it would cost somewhere around $22,000 a year.

When the possibility of having the town provide fire coverage was first proposed, Peeler said the initial $21,000 contract with the town’s fire department was only meant as a short-term arrangement, and that legislation would lead to the expansion of the district. Once that legislation passed, village residents would likely have to pay a different fire protection tax. In Mohawk, that tax currently stands at about $0.84 per $1,000 of assessed value.

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