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Lysander, Van Buren apply for grant; dissolution hearings scheduled

— Lysander and Van Buren officials are moving forward with the creation of a North West Fire District.

The proposed merger between the Baldwinsville Volunteer Fire Company and Lysander Fire Department would extend the Lysander Fire District into the Northern Fire Protection District, which stretches across the entire northern portion of the town of Van Buren south to Connors Road and the southern border of Village Green, and the Smokey Hollow Fire Protection District, which is bordered by Sixty, Kellogg and Oswego roads in Lysander. The Smokey Hollow Fire and Northern fire protection districts currently receive protection from the BVFC.

The proposed merger came to fruition after a study conducted by Dallessandro & Associates in 2011 suggested that Baldwinsville and Lysander consider forming a joint fire district. The purpose: to provide better coverage to residents through shared equipment, services and volunteers.

According to Van Buren Supervisor Claude Sykes, “the people we have entrusted to provide our fire and emergency services have indicated to us that in order to continue to provide the level of these services that we need and expect, they will require additional monies to meet these expectations. A review of their financials indicate that the current Baldwinsville Fire Company budget has no reserves built in for the purchase of future equipment and, regardless of whether this alternative or some other were implemented, the fire rates have to increase.”

Should the merger be approved, the new tax rate would be $1.67 per $1,000 for every property owner within the new North West Fire District beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Property owners within the Lysander Fire District currently pay a rate of $2.62 per $1,000 of assessed value; property owners within the Smokey Hollow Fire Protection District pay $1.228 per $1,000 of assessed value; and property owners within the Northern Fire Protection District pay $1.219 per $1,000 of assessed value.

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