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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Miller: Everyone benefits from career firefighters doing fire inspections

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MASSENA - The town and village are expected to soon have an intermunicipal agreement to outline how expenses connected to the code enforcement office will be split between the two municipalities.

The agreement, which outlines that expenses for the office, including secretary Avis Hazelton’s salary, will be split 60/40 in year, with the split in future years to be determined by the same formula used to calculate joint recreation expenses.

That formula uses the village’s total assessment and determines what percentage it is of the town’s assessment.

However, while they’re waiting for that agreement to be finalized the town board did pass a resolution allowing the Massena Fire Department’s career firefighters, who handle code enforcement duties for the village, to immediately begin conducting fire inspections for the town.

“They can’t do the inspections without an agreement,” said former chief Thomas C. Miller, who is also now a town councilman.

Mr. Miller added that it makes sense for the career firefighters to perform these inspections.

“I want to give credit where credit is due,” Mr. Miller said. “Kenny (Foreman Ken McGowan) and his staff are doing a great job with these inspections, and they provide any information they have to us (the volunteers). Any time we arrive on a scene there are drivers (career firefighters) always there, who can provide us with details such as the layouts of buildings they’ve inspected and other pertinent information.”

In the case of a fire at a commercial building, Mr. Miller said department members may be familiar with a businesses layout even before being dispatched to a call.

“It’s really important for us to have pre-planning information for commercial calls, which we now have following inspections when Kenny and his staff put that information into the computer,” Mr. Miller said. “Pre-planning could help speed up the initial attack on a fire and help to limit the damage.”

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