About a dozen active firefighters were in attendance as Frank Kaziska of the Fire Department recounted the history of the fire department and ambulance services in Roulette.
He said they average 255 calls a year, 65 fire calls, and 190 EMS calls. The department has about 30 active firefighters and 6 to 12 who respond to most calls. Kaziska said "It takes about $95,000.00 a year just to cover the costs for the Roulette Fire Station."
Bingo has been a good fundraiser over the years, but with the economy down and people out of work, the proceeds from that have dropped in the last year." Roulette Township is one of 3 Townships that the Fire Company serves. It covers a portion of Pleasant Valley and Clara Townships as well as Roulette Township.
As Roulette Township's share, the Fire Department has calculated $77,000.00, based on population of the area it serves.
Supervisors George Baker and Chris Landes were in attendance, Gary Fessenden was absent. They noted that the Township pays the Fire Company $8,800.00 currently.
The Supervisors pointed out that the entire property tax assessment receipts for the township are only $48,000.00 at a 3 mill tax rate. The supervisors said that that rate had been raised this year from 2 mills which raised about $32,000.00.
The Supervisors pointed out that in order to pay the Fire Company the additional $68,200.00, over 4 mills would have to be added to the property tax assessment. That coupled with the 3 mills currently paid would be close to 7.5 mills on the property tax.
They said many residents are struggling now to pay their taxes, especially the older retirees. They also referred to a state law that limits the taxation for fire protection to 3 mills. 3 mills would only produce $48,000.00.
Kaziska said if it were not for the Ambulance subscriptions and income from the Ambulance, that the fire company would not have survived as long as it has.
The Supervisors said they would take it under advisement but Supervisor Baker said he just didn't see any way that the township could raise taxes enough to provide what the Fire Company is asking.
Roulette residents are already reeling from sewer bills from the sewer system that was installed in the recent past and increased water bills after Roulette Township purchased and upgraded the Roulette water system.
In other business, the supervisors confirmed that they have hired Vicki Butler as a part time clerk. They turned down a request to purchase midland hand held radios, and reported that the first order for road salt has been placed. Quotes will be received for 6S anti skid at the October meeting.
They also noted that the Potter County Association of Township Officials is September 26 th at 8:00 AM at the Potato City Country Inn at Denton Hill.