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As a fire department dissolves, a village is divided

By ALLISON NORLIAN

PROSPECT, N.Y. (WKTV) - The locks were changed at The Village of Prospect fire house Wednesday morning and at the pavilion in the baseball field as the village prepares for a new normal without a fire company.

Residents voted to abolish the fire department by an 82 to 46 vote on Tuesday night, after a divided village has been forced to figure out what to cut and keep because of one woman and a workman's comp claim. The hope is with the departments elimination the liability lessons, and outside aid will help this struggling town.

Frances Righi, the Mayor of the Village of Prospect said, " The people of the village expressed their opinion about the liability of the fire company. We appreciate everything they've done for us but it's a fact of life that we cant continue with them or hold the liability anymore...so this morning I had security come in and change the locks on the fire company doors. I've been in touch with Joe Smith of town of Trenton and now we all have to sit down and start talking and hammering out all the legal stuff."

The problems for the village don't stop there, they just got hit with another claim and could still be dissolved into a hamlet in the Town of Trenton.

Mayor Righi said, " Bankruptcy, that's still on the table, a lot of stuff hopefully now that we eliminated our liability with workman's comp we'll have more people ready to help us."

The fire fighters should be able to get their belongings sometime next week but the equipment and related inventory, the Mayor said now belong to the village, " Their assets as of the vote last night became village assets became the property of the village and I guess we'll go from there."

The Fire Chief of the Village of Prospect Fire Company said he along with his lawyer would have comment on the situation Thursday.

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