By Matthew Saari

Officials from the town and village of Whitehall met with the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company last Tuesday to discuss the possibility of forming a joint fire district.

Mayor Phil Smith and trustee Dave Chaplin represented the village while board members Tim Kingsley and Chris Dudley were in attendance for the town. Conducting the meeting was Terry Hannigan, a lawyer and firefighter from Delmar who specializes in emergency service litigation.

“I was approached by (fire company president Brian Brooks) to broach the board and the community and the town and village representatives about the establishment of a joint fire district,” Hannigan said.

Hannigan said that a fire district is formed by taking a village fire department and incorporating it into the town, either the entirety or in part.

“The concept is very much like what was done in the ‘50’s with school districts,” he said.

Once formed, the fire district would be governed by a board of three to seven uncompensated commissioners, similar to the other taxing authorities currently in existence. All commissioners are elected by the residents living within the district and serve five-year terms. The fire chief cannot be on the board of commissioners.

 

This is only a preview of the story published in the Whitehall Times. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.

 

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