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Prospect Fire Dept. wins partial legal battle

By ALLISON NORLIAN

PROSPECT, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Village of Prospect Fire Department experienced a partial win on Thursday after they along with their attorney took the village to Oneida County Superior Court and won their case.

This new ruling means the fire fighters get their keys back Friday morning and will have access to the firehouse. However, the fight is not over. They still hope this just the first step to becoming a working fire department again. Chief Wayne Premo said, " We want to be back in the fire service and that's all we're looking for so people of our village and town have protection that they deserve."

After the dissolution of the Prospect fire department, village officials believed they would be able to take the fire company's assets and equipment and use them to help pay off the workman's comp claim and get back on their feet, although Fire Chief Premo saw the situation differently, " All of the sudden we get up one day and everything turned. We were no longer being sided with and we were upset we were being made to look like criminals. It was locked down immediately, we couldn't go in there that was more upsetting and disturbing then most things."

Premo said although they have their equipment back, they are still not able to fight fires, " The big difference is we keep saying our department...The Prospect Fire Department is no longer. They did abolish that so we're not going to be answering calls but The Prospect Fire Company Inc. is here and will remain here."

Jerry Hannigan, The Prospect Fire Department's attorney said the village interpreted the law wrong , "I'm very pleased with what transpired today in court. We feel we have a very compelling and legal argument that the village is not allowed to confiscate our property."

Frances Righi, Village Mayor did not return our call.

A hearing is set for Tuesday, October 8th but until then, Barneveld and Remsen fire departments will continue to protect the village.

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