Albion holding informational meetings on fire district June 10, June 17

Photo by Tom Rivers: Albion fire trucks head down Route 31 on Saturday during the Albion Strawberry Festival parade.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 June 2024 at 5:36 pm

ALBION – There will be informational meetings about forming a joint fire district covering the towns of Albion and Gaines (as well as the Village of Albion).

The Village Board and Fire Department will have 6 p.m. public meetings at Hoag Library on Monday and then on June 17.

The two town boards and the Village Board voted to form a Joint Fire District that would take the fire department out of the village budget. The two towns currently pay the village a fire protection contract.

A joint fire district would be its own taxing entity with commissioners developing and overseeing the budget.

Fire Department leaders said the current budget of about $350,000 is too low and doesn’t set aside any money in reserves and doesn’t include bond payments for a future ladder truck and a new engine.

The Joint Fire District may need $750,000 to $850,000 to be properly funded for the future, deputy fire chief John Papponetti said during a public hearing on April 24 about the fire district.

Petitions have been turned in to try to force a public vote on whether a new Albion Joint Fire District should be created serving Albion and Gaines. The Gaines and Albion town boards are expected to meet soon to determine if and when a referendum will be set.