SYRACUSE — Syracuse Town Council President Larry Siegel and council member Tom Hoover requested input from the rest of the council on how to vote regarding the Turkey Creek Fire Territory Budget during the council’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, Aug. 16. The fire territory will hold a special meeting Monday, Aug. 22, to approve its budget.
At issue was $198,000 in the building repairs and maintenance line item. Siegel noted the amount was 11 percent of the fire territory’s tax levy. Siegel also noted board members requested quotes for the work to be done, but none have been received by the fire territory board.
Councilman Paul Stoetling said he thought $30,000 had been approved for doing some refurbish work at Station I.
Turkey Creek Fire Territory Assistant Chief Brian Richcreek explained $50,000 was for adding stairs and finishing the second floor of Station II so it can be used as a training room, exercise room and for storing files. Currently the second floor is accessed by a step ladder.
The $130,000 in the repairs and maintenance line is to complete work that was taken out of the Station I renovation budget. Richcreek said estimates have been sought, but he wasn’t sure if they would be ready by Monday’s meeting.
Siegel questioned whether firefighters should be working out while on duty. He said he also had constituents question providing an exercise room when exercise equipment had been donated. Richcreek noted the donated equipment is currently sitting in a bay at Station II where it’s likely to be damaged.
Richcreek noted firefighters work 24 hours and have a lot of down time. It’s customary for firefighters to work out on their down time.
Councilman Bill Musser stressed the need for a list of repairs. Richcreek noted there is a list of repairs that need to be addressed.
Andy Grossnickle, attorney for the fire territory, noted when the fire territory budget was submitted in July, neither Hoover or Siegel asked any questions.
Siegel said there was not an itemized list until the meeting last week and requests for an itemized list and quotes have been made since June.
Richcreek pointed out funds can’t be used in the budget without both the Syracuse Town Council and Turkey Creek Fire Territory agreeing on how it is spent.
Siegel said the council has never done business where funds are appropriated and then quotes are sought.
The council instructed Hoover and Siegel to have the $180,000 pulled from the repairs and maintenance budget. The fire territory can appropriate the funds after quotes are received and approved.
In his department report, Richcreek told the council the storm siren batteries back up had been completed at a cost of $3,832, $334 below the quote. The fire territory received keys to the repeater tower.
Richcreek told the council in a regional survey, the EMS billing representative noted Turkey Creek is in line with other departments in the area as to what it charges. Turkey Creek EMS also has a higher rate of return due to doing paperwork correctly.
In other business, Town Manager Henry DeJulia introduced an ordinance for refunding the waterworks revenue bond of 2004. DeJulia noted this was the first reading of the ordinance, it should be approved in September.
The refund needs to be complete by December in order to avoid a 1 percent penalty.