Video courtesy of member FF Sarina Bodnar
We are very proud of the turnout at the August 12th vote by our community and we are also saddened that so many people willingly voted away their rights to have any future control over their Fire tax dollars. The district was voted down by a vote of 264 who voted yes to dissolve the district and 202 who voted no to keep the district. Therefore the District will be dissolved however the Mount Hope Fire Company will continue to exist and we will continue to put our best foot forward and continue to provide great fire protection and medical services to our community.
We have appreciated everyone's words of encouragement and support during this situation.
VOTE NO TO NOT DISSOLVE
On Tuesday August 12th from 6pm to 9pm at The Mount Hope Town Hall A vote is being held to dissolve the Mount Hope Fire District.
Keep the power in yours, the tax payers hand and vote NO!!
Voting NO means that you the tax payer will have a say in how YOUR tax dollars are spent and in Fire District matters such as purchasing equipment, apparatus, etc.
You will have guaranteed professional service with the current 43 firematic personnel who have multiple NYS Certifications, 10 of which are also medically trained and we are growing and welcoming new members monthly.
What is the Mount Hope Fire District?
The Mount Hope Fire District is a municipal entity designed to provide administrative oversight of the district budget, fire and medical service and show a clear path of expenditures, revenues and future development.
The district holds monthly public meetings and is served by 5 unpaid commissioners who are also residents and tax payers of this community and who are elected by the voters in an annual election where any resident of the fire protection district 18 years of age and older can not only vote but also run for office.
Secretary / Treasurer
What will the District cost me?
Not more than you as tax payers have been currently paying for fire protection. The cost of emergency fire and medical services is on your tax bill, which you can easily obtain by stopping at the Town Hall and asking the Town’s Tax Assessor for a copy of.
This past January the Mount Hope Fire rate was $2.17 per $1,000 assessed which means a home assessed at $100,000 paid $217 for fire protection tax for the year in 2014.
Next year’s rate will increase 2% which will equal $2.22 per $1,000 assessed under the current contract which is a 5 cent increase per $1,000.
Simply put a home assessed at $100,000 will pay $222 which is a $5 increase for an entire year’s worth of fire protection in 2015.
How does the Fire District affect me?
Beginning January 2015 the Mount Hope Fire District will be 100% responsible to the Mount Hope Fire District Voters…that is you the tax payers.
At this time, we are an operating Fire District answering over 300 mutual aid and 911 calls thus far with equipment and 40 plus members who are also residents of this community and pay the same taxes that you do.
The Board of Fire Commissioners is composed of District residents who have a stake in the Districts emergency services, they pay the same taxes as you do and want any expenditure to be the best value for yours/our tax dollars.
When the District needs to purchase new equipment or provide capital improvements they would be bonded (which would be paid over time) and subject to voter approval…you the tax payers approval.
Should you vote to dissolve the Mount Hope Fire District our emergency service finances would be completely uncertain and not guaranteed.
The Mount Hope Fire District provides a stable and cost effective guarantee for firematic and medical services!
For more informat
ion be sure to visit our 'Informational Letters To The Community' page and read the letters we have already handed out to the community, the 'Otisville Fire Department Appratus Fleet & Equipment Review' which is an independent study done at the request of the Village Board and the 'Town and Village Meeting Minutes' page.
Also please feel free to send us an email or call us and we would be more then happy to meet with you and or call you back and answer your questions, click here for our contact/email info (please keep in mind when contacting us that we are vlounteers and have day jobs so please be patient in waiting for our response).
The future of our community, our schools, our children and our elderly are protected by our UNPAID VOLUNTEER first responders who are your neighbors and fellow tax payers with jobs, children and homes just like you.
Also to help some residents understand the situation here are a couple ways to look at this whole scenario. These analogies where given by a Greenville resident and a Mount Hope Resident:
Do you RENT (contract fire protection) vs OWN (own fire district)? Sure you can find a suitable rental that serves its purpose & fulfills your needs. However, you have limited control. Permission to paint required, no renovations without approval, you can't expand like a garage or pool, etc. It’s like renting a place with a leaking roof or bad furnace. You have to pay your rent each month. But it is up to the Landlord / Owner to make the repairs. You can wish your rent goes to repairs but you have no control if they will. Of course you can shell more money out to make complaints & higher an attorney to address the repairs. But with ownership you gain equity & value that continues to accrue over time. You have full rights of ownership, which means you can do additions, garage, shed, a pool, paint, upgrade, make repairs, etc. It is your choice to grow how you want & accrue equity. With a rental you are just paying for the use of space with limited rights. Throwing away money month after month or year after year with a contract, or the same money could be INVESTED into something that is YOURS with full rights & growing Equity & Value.
Another way to look at it is to remember exactly what a "contract" is. It’s like hiring a landscaper to care for your lawn, you pay them for the service and they do what they want with the money and you have no say and you have no rights to their equipment it is their business and you hired them to provide a service to you. That is exactly what this is the Town contracts out to provide fire protection services to the residents. The contract is merely an agreement to provide services and the payment is for the services rendered. The Village owns the fire department, the structure, the apparatus, the equipment and they provide a service to the Town and its residents who have no say about how money is spent and they do not own anything the Village is merely a company providing a service that’s it, it just can’t get any simpler than that.
Here is a difference to also consider. If you rent and your Landlord does not keep up with repairs you can move as Audra pointed out, if the landscaper you hired fails to do the job accurately you can hire a new one BUT once the fire protection contract goes to another fire company you are stuck for 3 YEARS or possibly longer if they decide to change the contract terms which again is not a decision that the Town residents have a say in!!
To learn more about the Lt. Joseph DiBernardo Memorial Foundation click here
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Honorary Member William Novak, former Mount Hope Town Supervisor and Air Force Vietnam Veteran. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time.
To view Bill's Obituary please click here.