Hear­ing will look at fire ser­vice con­tracts

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

The Town Board has sched­uled a pub­lic hear­ing next month on pro­posed fire ser­vice con­tracts that sub­stan­tially re­duce spend­ing in the Rhinecliff and Hill­side fire pro­tec­tion dis­tricts.

The hear­ing is sched­uled for 6:45 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Rhinebeck Town Hall, 80 E. Mar­ket St.

Coun­cil­man Al­lan Scherr said the con­tracts are in­tended to equal­ize the amount paid for prop­er­ties within the dis­tricts and prop­er­ties cov­ered by the fire com­pa­nies in pro­tec­tion dis­tricts.

“The eas­i­est way to un­der­stand what we did is we said we will pay a per­cent­age of [a district] bud­get that is the per­cent of as­sessed value of the to­tal area they’re cov­er­ing,” Scherr said.

Un­der the pro­posed con­tract for ser­vice pro­vided by the Rhinecliff Fire District, $31,000 would be paid in 2018, a de­crease of about 50 per­cent. There are 75 prop­er­ties cov­ered in the agree­ment and 599 prop­er­ties in the district.

The pro­posed 2018 con­tract for ser­vice by the Hill­side Fire District would amount to $27,956, a de­crease of about 13.7 per­cent. There are 172 prop­er­ties cov­ered in the agree­ment and 448 prop­er­ties in the district.

The Town Board also pro­posed hold­ing the Rhinebeck Vil­lage Fire Depart­ment at $190,000 in 2018 in­stead of in­creas­ing the amount to $200,000 as planned in a five-year con­tract that is sched­uled to ex­pire next year. Town of­fi­cials say are 1,276 prop­er­ties in the town, but the depart­ment cov­ers 1,245 prop­er­ties within the vil­lage.

“The vil­lage cost per $1,000 in terms of tax rate was the low­est by far of all three fire de­part­ments,” Scherr said.

The Rhinebeck Fire Depart­ment’s cost for cov­er­age is cur­rently 37 cents per $1,000 of as­sessed prop­erty value, com­pared with 33 cents for district prop­er­ties.

Rhinecliff Fire District rates are $1.07 per $1,000 for con­tract cov­er­age and 36 cents within the district.

The Hill­side Fire Depart­ment’s rates are 62 cents per $1,000 for con­tract cov­er­age and 46 cents within the district.

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