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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Prospect voters choose to abolish Fire Department

Residents of the Village of Prospect voted Tuesday to abolish its Fire Department.
The 82-46 vote comes as the village faces possible bankruptcy as it struggles to cope with a 2008 workers compensation claim from a volunteer firefighter that amounts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, any fire in Prospect will be covered primarily by Barneveld’s department, and also by Remsen, Mayor Fran Righi said. The Prospect fire station likely will become a satellite station.

“As of right now, the village owns all their assets,” Righi said of the Prospect Fire Department. “As of 8 a.m., the tones will not sound, we will be changing the locks and taking an inventory.”

Late Tuesday afternoon, there was a slow but steady trickle of voters coming to the Prospect Village municipal building to vote.

The sky was clear, the scent of wood smoke hung in the air and the clock at the corner of Upper State and Summit streets pointed to high noon.

Of the roughly 175 people eligible to vote, 128 cast ballots. Few, however, would disclose to the media their decision.

“I’m for the Fire Department,” said resident Kim Fazekas. “I think there is a different solution.”
But George Zacek said he had voted to abolish the department.

“The way it is structured now, there’s just a small number of families that are liable for every comp case that arises,” he said. “It puts a tremendous burden on the...
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