Building upon the communication last month, many from the community have commented on improvements near the station as the house at 284 Pennsylvania Ave. was demolished this past month in advance of the new fire station being planned for the site.
Next steps for the new station are the bid package being finalized for Nov. 11, with expected receipt of contractor bids the first week of December. With a lot of our focus on cost control, we are confident the bids will be within budget and a new station built in 2017.
In other activity this month, the Board of Fire Commissioners finalized the 2017 budget along with our public hearing on Oct. 18, which was lightly attended.
The Commissioners unanimously approved the $977,519 budget for 2017, which included the $206,715 debt service fund payment for the new Station 1 project. Excluding the new debt service fund payment, the operations and reserve budgets were within the 0.68 percent tax cap afforded the Fire District for 2017 (more commonly referred to as the 2 percent tax cap) demonstrating the Board’s commitment to keeping taxes as low as possible.
For clarity, we will exceed the “2 percent tax cap” due to the debt service fund approved by you, the taxpayers, in November 2015. It is the Board’s expectation that we will return to our ability to keep within the tax cap for years to come.
I’d like to end this month’s update recognizing the dozens of volunteer firefighters that keep all of us safe in Apalachin. In addition to regular fire and EMS services, October is a busy month in the community in regards to the Department’s Fire Prevention and Outreach efforts.
Hundreds of volunteer hours were put forward educating our students at local schools on fire prevention, hosting and providing Fire and EMS coverage for our neighbor not-for-profit’s like Traci’s Hope, the Apalachin Lions Club 5K, Dick’s Sporting Goods Marathon, AYFL Superbowl (Go Raiders!), AES Trunks of Treats, and the Maryvale Block Party.
These events are excellent opportunities for our volunteers to engage with the community, educate our youth on the importance of fire prevention and safety, and for the volunteers to hear and feel your support firsthand.
On behalf of the Board of Fire Commissioners, we want to thank all of our volunteer firefighters.
I invite you to reach out via phone or email and I will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you have for the Fire District. We appreciate your continued support of the Fire District and your volunteer Fire Department.
Chairman, Board of Fire Commissioners