Residents and business owners in Glenville's Fire District Four, which covers some homes and a portion of the Scotia-Glenville Industrial Park, are being asked to weigh in about whether the town should continue to hire the Village of Scotia Fire Department at $339,000 a year or go with an area volunteer department for less.
Town officials said they hope to get a sense of the priorities of those affected at a meeting scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. March 26 at the at the Scotia-Glenville Middle School.
The Town of Glenville has been paying the Scotia Fire Department for years to provide coverage in the area along Mohawk Avenue.
Glenville Supervisor Frank Quinn began questioning the need for the contract in late 2007, at which time he noted the cost of the service had been increasing at a rate of more than 50 percent.
Quinn said the purpose of the March 26 meeting is to reach out to the consumers and see what they actually want to spend their money on, coverage from Scotia or a volunteer department.
"It's not a question of whether or not Scotia can provide adequate coverage; it's never been about that," said Quinn. "It's about talking with the people who pay the bills and giving them options."
Town Board member Mark Quinn said he has been consistently in favor of Scotia providing coverage, and he said residents have expressed concerns about losing what they consider to be valuable protection.
"There is willingness for residents to pay a bit more for paid firefighters who can respond to emergencies more quickly," said board member Quinn, who suggested appointing a board of commissioners to that district instead of having the Town Board make the decision.
He also suggested putting a spending increase cap on the budget.
Scotia Mayor Kris Kastberg said he was also in favor of forming a board of commissioners.