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Fire department policies and procedures discussed by West Carthage

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WEST CARTHAGE — Fire department concerns took center stage during a recent Board of Trustees meeting.

The board reviewed policy on training and the process for which bylaws or bylaw amendments are enacted for the village fire department. As required by the state Plan for Public Employee Safety and Health, firefighters will be required to have a minimum of eight hours of Occupational Safety and Health Administration training, and interior firefighters must have four hours of interior self-contained breathing apparatus training. The new bylaw defines failure-to-comply procedure and record keeping.

Mayor Scott M. Burto informed the board the fire department was considering a bylaw that requires the chief and first and second assistant chiefs to reside within the village limits.

Trustee David Z. Rounds voiced his opposition.

“Any member of the department should be able to run for office,” he said.

The mayor pointed out the board had voted in the past to waive any residency requirement.

Following the meeting, Fire Chief Peter Crump Jr. said the residency requirement was suggested to protect taxpayers.

“You don’t want someone outside the fire district deciding how we are going spend taxpayers’ money,” he said, noting the fire department members have mixed feelings about the proposed bylaw.

In other business, after discussion, trustees decided not to provide for municipal ice skating this winter at Donald F. Getman Memorial Park on Franklin Street.

Mr. Rounds, the recreation chairman, said he felt the village should not have an ice rink since conditions the past eight years have been favorable to make ice for only about two weeks each year.

“It’s throwing money into the wind,” Mr. Rounds said. “Once the sun hits the blacktop, the ice is gone. Besides, it’s hard to get someone to run it.”

The village also approved applying for an Urban and Community Forestry Grant through the state Department of Environmental Conservation in order to plant trees at the South Main Street waterfront project. The grant is a 50-50 match for a total of $17,500 for the West Carthage Community Tree Planting Program. The $8,750 village share would come in part from the $7,000 line item in the village budget designated for tree planting.

During the meeting, the board also instructed the village clerk to send specifications to area HVAC businesses for a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for the village offices and boardroom. No responses were received after advertising for estimates. Since it is estimated the purchase and installation of the unit will be less than $30,000, the project does not have to be sent out to bid under the village procurement policy.

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