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Town board restores firematics in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE - The town board voted unanimously to again allow the volunteer fire department’s firematics drill team to practice on town property.

This came as the result of another agreement between the town and the fire department reached with the help of a concerned group of citizens who have been acting as mediators between the two parties.

The agreement approved by town board members Wednesday night allows the firematics team to use town property again, and it also gives the department three keys to the new lock on the town’s fuel pump.

“I think that since this is their recommendation we should move forward with this,” Town Supervisor Larry R. Legault said.

The agreement also called for the town to bill the department monthly for fuel use, but since they’ve already collected $2,500 from the department for fuel this year that portion of the agreement won’t be implemented until Jan. 1.

“This will help them with their budget to figure out how much fuel they’re using each month,” said Councilwoman M. Gail Schneider, who helped negotiate the agreement.

Dalton Foster; his wife, Nancy; and Patricia Pellegrino have been working with the town board and the fire department to resolve their issues. Mr. Foster said he thinks the agreement is another step in the right direction.

“I think what they wanted, and what you wanted, was to get a better take on the what was being used,” Mr. Foster said, adding the department was also looking for an easier way to pay for fuel than with one lump-sump payment.

Town Councilman Roy A. “Slim” Beshaw, who worked with Ms. Schneider on the agreement, said the meeting was attended by both he and Ms. Schneider, Mr. and Mrs. Foster as well as Chief John Sheets, First Assistant Chief Merlon Rogers, Second Assistant Chief Jeff Bice, Trustee Sandy Roberts and Trustee Kenneth Blair from the fire department.

Mr. Legault also read a letter from the fire department requesting permanent rights to use town property at Arena Drive as long as they have a firematics drill team.”

Mr. Legault, however, said that is not something that he thinks the town board can do.

“We’re not allowed to lock in future boards,” Mr. Legault said, adding he would have town attorney Eric J. Gustafson take a look at the letter before making an decisions on it.

Ms. Schneider also noted since last Wednesday’s meeting the department has already received seven new applications for members and an effort is underway to bringing back the women’s auxiliary, with six to seven women already expressing an interest in helping out.

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