The town of Glenville and village of Scotia have reached an agreement for Fire District Four and are expected to vote on the approval in the near future.
The two municipalities have negotiated a three-year-contract for the fire district which serves both communities. The town and the village boards will each vote on the contract soon, Scotia’s board will vote next week and Glenville’s will vote at its next meeting the week after. Both Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle and Scotia Mayor David Bucciferro anticipate the contract will be approved.
“I met with my board last night, went into executive session, presented the terms of the agreement and they were all universally supportive,” Koetzle said Thursday. “I think what we’ll do is we will pass it at our next meeting, which will be our organizational meeting on January 4th.”
The town currently pays $491,000 to Fire District Four under the current contract, Koetzle said. Under the pending contract, the town would pay $500,061 in 2023, a 2% increase. It would then increase in 2024 to $512,500, a 2.5% increase, and in 2025, the town would contribute $522,500, another 2% increase.
“Generally speaking, it’s within the parameters of what we started the negotiations feeling what was acceptable, fair and affordable,” Koetzle said.
The average home within District Four is accessed at $143,000, Koetzle explained. If the new contract is approved, that house would experience a $9 annual increase in 2023, a $12 annual increase in 2024 and another $9 increase in 2025.
“Currently, the average home is paying $470 for Fire District Four tax,” Koetzle said. “That means in 2023 they will pay $479, in 2024 they will pay $491 and in 2025 that will be $500 even in Fire District Four tax.”
The Glenville Town Board members are very supportive of this, Koetzle said. He said he was very pleased with how quickly this negotiation went because it was “by far the quickest” negotiation he has been involved with in his 14 years.
“I want to congratulate the new mayor [Bucciferro],” Koetzle said. “He came in and within two weeks was able to achieve what two other mayors couldn’t do with a lot more time. So I do want to thank him, and the Trustees in the village for really taking a serious look at this and wanting to work with us.”
The village is pleased to be able to provide its high quality services to the district, Bucciferro said.
“They are our neighbors and friends,” Bucciferero. “We’re pleased that the town has agreed and is going to be reimbursing us for that effort.”
The discussions about the contract show the town and village can work together, Bucciferro explained. He called this the beginning of many ways in which the town and village can help one another to bring the best services at the best costs to residents.
“I think it’s a really good step in the right direction for the two communities to continue to work together,” Bucciferro said.
Earlier this month, at a Glenville Town Board meeting, two members of the Scotia Fire Department voiced concerns about a comment a town board member had made online recently. Town Board Member James Martin explained previously that his comment was not about the upcoming negotiation, but was about fiscal responsibility.
Martin called the new contract discussed in executive session “very reasonable.”
“I think first and foremost that it appears to be at a reasonable cost, provides them some additional revenue at the same time,” Martin said. “It was reviewed by our comptroller; he had a positive opinion on it, which weighs heavily on those issues for me anyhow.”