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Ballston to pay more for fire help

Complicated negotiations lead to compromise

Ballston Town Hall.

Ballston Town Hall.

— In order to reach the figure of 67 cents that was finally settled on, the negotiating teams took the rate per thousand that is charged by Ballston Lake and Burnt Hills fire departments and averaged them.

“They agreed it was a fair rate,” said Southworth. “We all sat down and had good negotiations. There is a lot of respect and good working relations. This compromise is something everyone should be proud of.”

Southworth said the final number should be good news for taxpayers.

“That keeps us under the tax cap,” said Southworth. “Every adjustment affects us.”

She said the last contract was negotiated in 2008 and became effective in 2009. Fire service contracts typically run for three years.

“The reality is that as more houses are being built, fire departments will need an increase in funds for training,” said Southworth. “This new rate gives the company the money for necessary training to provide the best fire protection.”

Councilman Bill Goslin lauded Southworth’s negotiating efforts at the Dec. 4 meeting.

“I want to thank Supervisor Southworth for working out a good compromise that will have all the fire districts at a consistent rate,” he said.

The Town Board held a public hearing on Dec. 27 on the proposed rate, but no comments were registered.

The board will vote on the new rate at the Jan. 8 meeting.

Members of the Round Lake negotiating team could not be reached for comment.

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