MASSENA - The Massena Village Board, despite reservations raised by Mayor James F. Hidy over budget concerns, has approved the purchase of six pager holds for its volunteer firefighters.
When devliering his fire department committee report,
Trustee Frances J. Carvel, a member of the village board’s Fire Committee, has asked his fellow village officials to approve a motion for the purchase of six pager cases for the volunteer fire department.
While the expense is a small one, Mr. Hidy noted that is is an expense that had been cut from the budget when village trustees were trying to find a way to reduce the final tax levy increase to less than 5 percent.
“Unfortunately that was one of the things that was cut out,” he said. “The board approved it, and they knew what was cut out.”
Mr. Carvel then again lobbied the board for a motion to authorize the purchase.
“It’s a very minimal amount of money,” he said. “It’s not a big expense, but we’re dealing with volunteers. They volunteer their time and shouldn’t expect them to volunteer their money too.”
Mr. Carvel’s second comment on the matter came after Mr. Hidy asked whether the volunteers had been asked about using their own money for the purchases.
After Department Foreman Ken McGowan noted the cases cost roughly $20 each and the department did have enough money to pay for them if they took the money from a different budget line, not their equipment line.
“The equipment line was cut back to hose and foam only,” he said, referring to fire supression foam, which is used when battling fires. “If we took 10 cents out of that, then you wouldn’t enough enough to buy the equipment it was alloted to buy.”
Mr. McGowan said the department does have a separate account with $1,000 in it for miscellaneous expenses, noting that is likely where the money for this purchase would come from, if approved by the board.
I’m going to second Francis’s motion,” said Trusteee Patricia K. Wilson. Mr. Carvel, Ms. Wilson and Trustee Timothy J. Ahlfeld then each voted to approve the purchase. Trustee Albert C. “Herb” Deshaies was absent, and Mr. Hidy abstained from voting on the measure.
Mr. Ahlfeld said he could understand where the mayor was coming from, but at the same time, Ms. Wilson said, the village has an obligation to provide fire protection serivce and outfit the department’s members with what they need to perform that service.
“Taxpayers of the village expect us to provide fire protection service, and we have to equip them,” she said.
Noting that the village is still in the first quarter of its fiscal year, Mr. Hidy said he was worried about using money designed for emergency purchases or unforseen circumstances.
“We’re pretty early in the budget season,” he said. “Next time you’re trying to get your budget down to 1 percent, remember this.”