Lenox. Town's share of fire protection increases

Ongoing negotiations of the fire protection contract between the Canastota village board and the Lenox town board has resulted in the town's counter offer of an additional $20,000. The amount will be an additional 2 cents per $1,000 taxable assessment or a total of 55 cents per $1,000 of assessment for fire protection. The town used its current total assessed value of $223 million. Its numbers for 100 percent assessment are not complete yet, according to Lenox Supervisor Rocco DiVeronica.

The board has decided to increase its funding to the Wampsville Fire Department the same percentage. Wampsville will receive around $24,000. The total increase in the budget will be about $122,000. If the village approves the contract, the town will pay $97,000 to the village.

At a joint meeting held in March, Canastota Mayor Todd Rouse asked the town for an additional $30,000 a year or a total of $110,000 in its fire contract. This was based on the amount of calls. DiVeronica was concerned that Rouse's numbers reflected mutual aid and said he didn't agree with his numbers.

"We don't pay for mutual aid," DiVeronica said at Monday night's board meeting. "We are paying for 163 calls."

Councilman Anthony Palamara said the numbers he reviewed showed a little more than 40 percent of the calls made to the Canastota Fire Department were made in the township, including calls to Wampsville.

"The contract is vague as far as mutual aid is concerned," said Councilwoman Grace Rapasadi.

DiVeronica said the contract should read that the town of Lenox is not responsible for mutual aid.

The board will meet again Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

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