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Dundee fire department wants to incorporate

DUNDEE—Several members of the Dundee Fire Department spoke at a public hearing on a proposal to incorporate the department Dec. 8. The new organization would be the Dundee Fire Company. There would be no changes as far as fire protection or ambulance service as a result of an incorporation.
At the beginning of the hearing, Mayor Fred Cratsley Jr. asked fire chief Dan Peterson about support for the proposal from members of the fire department. Peterson said, “We voted on it. I can’t tell you the number, but everyone was pretty much on line.”
Past chief Raymie Miller said at first he was not in favor of it, but he felt things needed to be straightened out regarding money, stating, “It will be better for the village and the fire department.” Past chief Glen Miller said his only concern is that the fire chief is a department head in the village and he doesn’t think the chief should be president of the fire company, stating, “He would be representing both sides. It’s very common that the fire chief is not president of the company. I think they should be separate. I think incorporation is a good thing. It allows us, as a group of individuals to be in control of our destiny. I just want separate leadership.”
Dundee resident Pamela Miller said the Dundee Library has just gone through this. She said she is concerned about the ramifications if the fire department is incorporated, referring to filing of state and federal forms. She said, “There will be questions from the IRS about why there have been no filings. They would have to be audited,” adding, “The fire department needs to have a good attorney.”
Past fire chief and former village mayor Craig Prior said, “There will be other changes; additional people accountable to the village along with the chiefs.” Trustee Judy Duquette asked if the fire department has received a set of laws that must be followed. Peterson responded, “No. We had to go to the village first.” Pamela Miller suggested department representatives contact state attorney general Andrew Cuomo’s office for print materials that spells out what must be done.
If the new company is formed, certain things such as the antique Buffalo truck and trophies would belong to the company. Donations would also remain with them. Cratsley said, “It’s going to be a long process to get residents to understand donations would go to the company and not to the fire department.”
Fire department representatives attended the Dec. 3 Tri-board meeting to answer questions about the proposed change. Starkey and a portion of Barrington, two of the three Triboard members, have coverage through the Dundee Fire Department. At that meeting they were told there would be no cost to them connected to the possible incorporation.
No decision was made regarding advancing the project during the meeting. Afterwards Cratsley said the proposal will be reviewed by the village attorney.

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