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Manlius Town Board hears village fire budgets

The Manlius Town Board met Nov. 12 before a full room of about 40 residents for public hearings on the three village fire department budgets and the $11.25 million town budget.

Board members and residents of the town of Manlius worked to discuss and iron out the last few concerns for the budgets, which the state requires the town to submit by Nov. 20.

The mayors and fire chiefs from the villages of Fayetteville and Minoa attended, but no one from the village of Manlius fire protection district was present, due to conflicting scheduled meetings.

Councilor John Loeffler said that since April, when the village fire budgets were first presented, the Manlius Town Board has experienced one-way communication with the Manlius Village Board on budget changes, including the addition of administration fees. The board decided to leave the public hearing open for this fire budget until the next meeting Nov. 19, in hopes of speaking directly with village officials.

The villages of Manlius and Fayetteville will present the consolidation of their fire districts next week as well.

The issue of surcharges for 911 emergency radio services, which affects all of the districts, resurfaced. The state has said that emergency services in every municipality must change their radio systems by June 1, when the system goes into effect. Because neither the state nor the county has been willing to pay for the $35 million investment, that date may change.

"We haven't decided how we're going to pay for the radios," Supervisor Mark Tetley said.

For the town of Manlius, it would cost $400,000 for everyone within the town limits. The village of Fayetteville, which has included the radios in its contingency budget, would have to pay $53,000, said Fayetteville Mayor Mark Olson.

"It's not something we want to do or thought we should do -- we have to do it to communicate with 911," he said.

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