File photo by Tom Rivers – Albion firefighter Darryl Szklany checks the back of structures at the Par-Me Golf Course on Feb. 5. The site is on Brown Road in the Town of Gaines.
GAINES – The Gaines Town Board today agreed to pay much more for fire contract in a new three-year deal with the Village of Albion.
The Village Board notified Gaines in April that it was terminating the fire contract on Aug. 31, at 11:59 p.m. The contract between the town and village expired on Dec. 31, 2015.
Village officials wanted Gaines to pay $100,000 for fire protection outside the village, the same as the Town of Albion pays for property outside the village.
The new agreement, approved today, will have Gaines pay $75,000 in 2016, $90,000 in 2017 and $100,000 in 2018.
Gaines paid $33,860 in 2015. That was a fire protection rate of 32 cents per $1,000 of assessed property, by far the lowest in the county. The Town of Yates is next lowest at 49 cents with Carlton at 75 cents. Every other town pays at least $1 per $1,000 for fire protection.
Gaines Town Board members asked for a four-year deal with $60,000 for 2016, $80,000 in 2017, $90,000 in 2018, and $100,000 in 2019.
But Village Board members wanted Gaines at $100,000. Mayor Dean London said the board gave Gaines a $35,000 break from the $100,000 by agreeing to $75,000 for 2016 and $90,000 in 2017.
Gaines has had a discount on its fire protection rate since 1995 when the Town Board then and Village Board agreed to a 20-year discounted fire protection rate in exchange for Gaines making the sewer plant on Densmore Street tax exempt.
Gaines officials had proposed making the new contract based on call volume, but the village resisted that. London said the board was unified in demanding $100,000 for providing fire protection to the town.
Village Trustee Pete Sidari has been a long-time member of the Albion Fire Department. He said costs are climbing for volunteer fire departments, especially with equipment and fire trucks.
The Fire Department just received a new truck that costs $668,796. The vehicle from Churchville Fire Equipment is a new triple combination pumping engine. It will replace two vehicles for the Albion Fire Department: a pumper from 1974 and a smaller truck used to respond to motor vehicle accidents. That truck from 2004 has extrication equipment.
“The equipment is more expensive than it used to be,” Sidari said after the meeting today at the Gaines Town Hall.
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