Adams Fire District to Decide on Full-Time Fire Chief, Firefighter
iBerkshires.com reports the proposed Adams Fire District budget has decreased but members will be asked to consider the addition of two full-time positions.
The proposed fiscal 2020 budget of $2,177,361 is down 21 percent from this year's budget of $2,777,800. However, voters in the district will also be asked to decide on the addition of a full-time fire chief position and a single full-time firefighter position prior to the annual meeting.
Fire Chief John Pansecchi went public with his desire to increase his position to full time this past winter.
Satko said it has been discussed in the past but the prudential committee felt that it was too large of an increase for the committee alone to approve.
Pansecchi, who also has a full-time job, felt with increased calls, duties, reporting, and inspections a full-time chief was needed. He also thought it would put the town in line with other smaller communities who have a full-time chief.
He also advocated for a single full-time firefighter that would add consistent and faster response times during the day. This employee could also help with maintenance and share some of the administrative duties with the chief.
Satko did agree that the chief has more administrative duties and that the job has changed over the years. He said medical calls alone take up a third of the department's responses
Although Satko and fellow Prudential Committee member Fred Meczywor Jr. agreed with this sentiment, they were concerned about what it would cost.
District members will decide these two ballot questions at the annual election, which will be held Tuesday, May 14, from noon to 6 at the firehouse.
District members will also vote on some new costs that will increase the water rate 62 cents per thousand gallons.
District members also will vote on seven items during the annual meeting: A 20-year infrastructure master plan ($66,500), a rate study, creation of an asset management plan ($35,000), an update of the emergency response plan ($15,000), Update Operations and Maintenance Manual ($21,500), a Bassett Reservoir Dam Emergency Action Plan ($24,000), and the replacement of water meters ($100,000).
Water Superintendent John Barrett said these costs are mandates from the state Departments of Environmental Protection and of Conservation and Recreation and it would only cost more to deny them.
The Prudential Committee does plan to hold an informational meeting but a date and time have not yet been scheduled.