Lysander, Van Buren apply for grant; dissolution hearings scheduled

— Both towns have also co-applied for a 2012-13 Local Government Efficiency Implementation Grant Program administered through the New York State Department of State with the Lysander Fire District named as lead applicant. If awarded, the $1,100,000 grant will help the newly formed district to purchase gear and equipment that will help standardize operations within the expanded district to comply with National Fire Protection Association mandates. It will also provide funds for infrastructure improvements, which will help consolidate services while improving efficiency of fire services.

In addition to co-applying for the grant, each town has also scheduled a public hearing to dissolve existing fire protection districts within their towns in order to move forward with the expansion of the Lysander Fire District, which will be renamed the North West Fire District once all the legwork is complete.

Lysander will hold a public hearing regarding the dissolution of the Smokey Hollow Fire Protection District at 7 p.m. April 22, at the Lysander Town Hall, 8220 Loop Road, Radisson. Van Buren will hold a public hearing regarding the dissolution of the Northern Fire Protection District at 7:30 p.m. May 7, at the Van Buren Town Hall, corner of Van Buren and Ellsworth roads.

Should the districts be dissolved and the North West Fire District formed, the BVFC will work hand-in-hand with the Lysander Fire Department to provide fire protection services to the expanded fire district, which would answer to an elected board of fire commissioners. Currently, the fire protection districts answer to a board of directors and, ultimately, their respective town boards.

“A commissioner run fire district, if passed, can offer more transparency than having the fire cost buried on a line within the town budget, but it will require the public to be involved and pay attention and offer their input to the commissioner board,” Sykes said.

The anticipated date of implementation of the proposed merger is 12 a.m. June 1.

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