While talks over a possible creation of a new fire district for Scotia continue, the village department has hired two new firefighters: Brendan Dunfee of Scotia and Anthony Catafallo of Latham. The two new hires will bring the department back to a full staff of 10 full-time employees.
The Scotia Board of Trustees also approved three new volunteer firefighters at the Wednesday, Feb 13, meeting.
The village is looking at creating a new district by combining an area of Glenville with Scotia. An elected board of commissioners would oversee the new district.
Currently, Scotia covers the area, which is mainly commercial and includes the Scotia-Glenville Industrial Park, under a yearly contract that brings in about $300,000 in revenue.
Scotia Mayor Kris Kastberg said he is in favor of the plan because it will take the politics out of the fire department's management, which has been embroiled in controversy in past years.
A board of commissioners voted on by our residents takes the Board of Trustees out of the process, said Kastberg.
Some trustees have expressed concerns, saying that the village depends on the financial support of the yearly contract.
Trustee Armon Benny said he feels it is a new level of government that the village doesn't need. He said elections for the fire commissioners are typically the type of elections held in July when not many people are paying attention.
"These types of votes are small and typically not representative, however good or bad," said Benny.
The board will continue to discuss the fire district issue at future meetings.
In other business, the board looked at addressing the recent cutbacks at the village library. County library budget cuts had a direct impact on the village library, reducing its hours by 10 a week.
Deputy Mayor Joe Rizzo said a new proposal would keep the library closed on Wednesdays and Sundays and open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Rizzo said the proposal for these hours will now go before the library board of trustees.
"The Scotia Library is part of the beauty of Collins Park, it's an important part of the county system. We consistently have families, children, young and old, use our library," said Rizzo.