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Firefighters discuss consolidated fire district proposal in Barneveld

By ANNA MEILER

BARNEVELD, N.Y. (WKTV) -- The villages of Holland Patent, Barneveld, Prospect and the Town of Trenton could soon become a single fire district.

An attorney for the Town of Trenton, Bradley Pinsky, addressed a group of firefighters in Barneveld Monday night to explain that a single fire district could mean increasing safety, doubling their man power and cutting down response time.

Forming a fire district is almost like forming a city that will have multiple stations. It will cover the villages of Holland Patent, Barneveld, Prospect and the Town of Trenton. But it will act as its own government with one budget and one set of policies and procedures, making it more efficient.

The district would be made up of two fire companies; Barneveld and Holland Patent. The Village of Prospect voted to dissolve their volunteer fire department in September after a worker's compensation case put the village into near financial ruin.

Firefighters would have the ability to respond to any station in the district, which Pinsky says would offer greater fire protection for residents. Residents would also see their village and town taxes go down, but then pay a separate, flat fire rate on their taxes.

"Why do this? Because it's going to be better for the fire department. It's going to be better for the residents of the whole. Is it going to be cheaper? I don't think so. I really don't. Consolidation to me isn't about cheaper. When most people consolidate they say 'How do we do this? Where do we start cutting? And I'm the wrong person to ask about that because you're asking me or our firm to cut fire services? You've got the wrong firm," said Pinsky.

The Barneveld fire chief said it's too early on in the process to comment. Moving forward, each municipality will meet to discuss the proposal. There will also be a public hearing so residents will have the chance to weigh in. NEWSChannel 2 will keep you up to date when they are scheduled.

They hope to have a decision made by July.

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