The Van Buren board approved the 2008-2011 Baldwinsville Volunteer Fire Department contract after a public hearing held at last Tuesday's board meeting.
The contract, which still needs approval by the Lysander town board, calls for an 18-percent increase in finances the first year for capital improvements including construction on a new firehouse located on the corner of Crego Road and Downer Street across from River Mall. The second year there will be no increase and third and fourth year the towns of Van Buren and Lysander will see a 3-percent decrease each year.
"This contract is going to enable (the BVFD) to start construction on a new firehouse in an area that is rapidly growing," said councilor Dan Quackenbush. "It is in our benefit to approve this contract."
The dramatic increase the first year accounts for costs associated with the new facility, which has already been approved by the Van Buren planning board.
"We had a candid conversation about numbers and I was very satisfied with all the responses," said Councilor Wendy Van Der Water. "It's a very tight budget. It's right on the numbers."
The BVFD expects expenditures to decrease over the next four years as some loans will be paid off during the contractual period.
"We have to make mortgage payments on the new facility, but in 2010, we have some loans maturing," said Tom Perkins, vice president of the BVFD.
The new station is projected to cost $1.2 million. It will have three drive-through bays, two shorter bays, a day room for volunteers on call, training room, dispatch room and small kitchen for chicken barbecues.
"(The firehouse) is not elaborate at all," Perkins said. "I don't think we are out of line asking what we are. It is pretty much a bare bones budget."
Other than the new station on the corner of Crego and Downer St., the budget basically covers cost of operation.