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Smith: Levy needed to keep department operating 24/7

October 24, 2012
Morning Journal News

WELLSVILLE - The second of two issues facing Wellsville voters in less than two weeks is a fire renewal that village Fire Chief Bill Smith says is critical to maintaining an acceptable level of protection for residents.

Funds from the 1.4-mill levy, which will generate an estimated $32,500 per year over its five-year term, would go toward basic operations of the Wellsville Fire Department, such as equipment maintenance. Although Smith would like to hire additional part-time firefighters if the money becomes available, the levy will only fund existing personnel. "Nothing new, just to continue on," he said.

Smith says that the failure of the levy wouldn't result in the closure of the department, but it could necessitate cutbacks in firefighters' hours, meaning that there wouldn't be firefighters on duty 24 hours per day, seven days a week, as is the case now.

"We've cut everything else we can cut already," he said. "No other place to cut."

Smith stresses that, as with the floodwall issue, this levy is a renewal that village residents have approved for years and that will not result in higher taxes. "It's not going to cost them anything," he said. "They're paying it already."



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