Hearing will look at fire service contracts
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.