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Waterloo, Fayette consider merged fire district; public hearing set for August 26th

Two fire districts in Seneca County are weighing the possibility of joining forces.

The towns of Waterloo and Fayette, and the village of Waterloo are exploring the possibility of merging to form a joint-district.

All three entities met in a joint-session at the end of July. A public hearing on the matter is set for August 26th.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

“None of the three municipalities have committed formally to this yet,” Attorney Brad Pinsky of Syracuse told the Finger Lakes Times. “There are benefits to creating one fire protection district. Every resident can run for the Board of Fire Commissioners, if it is decided the commissioners should be elected, not appointed. The people would also get the right to vote on important issues such as financing, bonding, borrowing, property and equipment purposes. There would also be one tax rate equal for all in the district. The fire district can also focus on efficient, safe operation of the district. That is harder to do now under the current system.”

If the plan is adopted, there would be between five and seven fire commissioners, who could be elected or appointed. The Waterloo Fire Department assets would be transferred from the village to the new fire district.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Coverage is complicated by community borders. For example, the Town of Fayette is technically within the Village of Waterloo. Meanwhile, the Town of Fayette is serviced by a number of fire districts, including its own. Those include Varick and Canoga.

Overlapping coverage for different parts of both communities would likely be necessary.