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Friday, November 22, 2013

PUBLIC MEETING FOR PORTAGE & SYLVANIA TOWNSHIP PROPERTY OWNERS & TAX PAYERS

Austin Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.

NEWS RELEASE

PUBLIC MEETING
FOR PORTAGE & SYLVANIA TOWNSHIP
PROPERTY OWNERS & TAX PAYERS

The Austin Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. (AVFD) will hold a Public Meeting on
Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm at the Austin Firehall
for all tax payers and residents of Portage and Sylvania Townships.

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the current
Fire Protection Agreements which are due to expire on December 31, 2013
in each of these municipalities and how this will affect fire protection to you as a tax payer and property owner.
What this means is as of January 1, 2014 there will be no fire or rescue response from AVFD due to a non-negotiated contract.

Your attendance at this very important meeting is highly recommended.

Fire Chief Chase Cooney will address any and all concerns you may have.

“Serving Our Community With Pride”
This institution is an equal opportunity provider

33 comments :

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

WOW ! I can't believe the fire company would just let people's house's burn! Negotiating a contract with these two townships must be a nightmare!

Anonymous said...

Seeing how this is over half the area that the AVFD covers, if this contract isn't passed. Might as well shut down the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

A Fire Company is a business that takes a well designed operating budget and long term planning. Without firm contracts in place it would be impossible to generate a budget. Normally the funds that are generate by a contract fall short of what is required and the fire company still needs to do fund raising activities. So unless the Fire company is funded 100% by tax dollars, then it is a pure business if contracts expire they have the right to cease service. In most cases these contracts are renewed well in advance of the expiration date.

A 55year EMS Volunteer said...


If the Fire Company would respond and someone be injured, I am sure they would NOT be covered by Workman's Compensation. They must have an agreement with the Township to have coverage.

The township is probably trying to get protection on the cheap.

Anonymous said...

I really hope that all of you people that are against this do realize that it maybe possible that your FIRE INS.could be cancelled or maybe it could even go up...you do realize all these men and women are all VOL.I don't think that they are asking to much from anyone just what is needed to keep our FIRE COMPANY here for all of us.

Anonymous said...

The fire chief lives in portage township and another chief lives in sylvania township i doubt very highly they would watch their own houses burn down. Is it even legal for a volunteer fire department to refuse to come?

Anonymous said...

Like i said they are ALL VOL.

Anonymous said...

So 2:27 sounds like you mean volunteers DON'T have to come! So pay us or else! You gotta love legal extortion!

Anonymous said...

Take a scenario that a Township wants to accept the money amount the Fire Dept wants from them for 2014 and extend their existing agreement for 1 year but does not wish to enter a 3 year agreement -then what? Now what would you think; Is the Fire Dept right or wrong for not concurring with the Township since they are fully willing to pay requested amount set by the Fire Dept. for 2014? Township willing to pay amount requested but then they say they won't respond?

At least one of these townships is willing to provide fire protection for their property owners for a one year 2014 agreement with the Fire Dept., however, chooses not to enter into a 3-year agreement.



Portage Township Taxpayer said...

This is what happens when people with no morals are calling the shots. You should have joined the fire department to help others not to help yourself.To stop service over a dispute is bullshit its not the tax payers fault that a contract was not singed get off your ass respond and protect the people you serve work it out with the townships at a later date. The powers that be cry they are broke but have money to drop on lawyer, new ceillings, sign out front, turn out gear for guys that don't respond or won't fight fire. YOUR NOT BROKE YOU JUST PISS AWAY THE MONEY THAT IS GIVEN TO YOU TO BY US TAX PAYERS THAT YOUR SUPPOSE TO SERVE AND PROTECT. But as long as certain people can improve their social rep that's all that important. Also the one township had all intentions of singing the contract till they were shown things that were being posted by Nate Burgett slandering the township and running a bullying campaign so to speak. Stop being bullys man the hell up and protect your citizens period

Deonna said...

I believe there are two "sides" to this situation/discussion. It would be more beneficial to township taxpayers if this meeting included officials from both sides. I have heard "chatter" but would like hardcore facts and numbers.

Anonymous said...

"Serving our community with pride" WHAT SERVICE

Anonymous said...

There have been reports in the news of peoples homes burning to the ground because of no contracts/fighters on strike.

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On a seperate note: When the ambulance is called out for a medical reason or wreck and the people "refuse treatment", who pays for the expense of this?

Anonymous said...

The Residents of Homer Twp are about to be in the same situation!

Anonymous said...

The one township is willing to pay on a yearly basis not a three year basis but that apparently isnt good enough. I am all for being compensated but everyone has to be reasonable and threats of not responding is asinine idle threats in hopes of getting what they want is not good business practice

Anonymous said...

People need to excise their right to vote and attend their monthly township meetings. This topic has been on the table for months. I'm sure none of the fireman want to let a home burn but their are numerous liabilities and expenses associated with the services being provided. There are 2 sides to every stories, this meeting is much needed for both the fire department and townships.Without the township supervisors present it is kind of a mute point. They have the final say, hopefully they will attend and listen to the concerns of the citizens and factor that into their decision.

Anonymous said...

Duh 5:42 Whom do you think pays! Hard working tax paying citizens. You can't help someone whom doesn't want help. They're sure not going to pay for services not wanted or rendered. Even if they get billed!

Anonymous said...

It really doesn't surprise me that it's these two townships trying to get out of paying. The way they have been run for years! No money for anything but the ones who write their own paychecks and screw the taxpayers!

Anonymous said...

4:54 post Portage Township Taxpayer would you like to get off your A$$ and join the fire department? they advertise new members always welcome. go see what its all about. I believe those township people refused to meet with fire dept. wonder why? and they wouldn't need a lawyer if the townships would meet and just not take one persons word because that person has a grudge with the fire dept. now that is bullshit. glad to see them put money in to that building it has been in need of some tlc. I I bet that new ceiling will help save money on heat bill.something past administration should have taken care of just like the township stuff should have been taken care of way before this but that person chose not to. new leadership just trying to get back on track and looks to me like they are making progress. new gear to keep members safe I don't see no problem with that. new sign from bingo money only helps advertise for future income again no problem there. that guy you mentioned is only one person many others are involved and township should have talked to them if they had concern.

Anonymous said...

I just finally read this string. It is nice to know that not all of the dildines in Potter County live in Coudersport. The least these townships can do to show support for these volunteers who protect and serve is to allow a small tax to pay for the coverage. Letting a property burn down because the township supervisors are too petty or do not care about their citizens safety and welfare is just one thing and one thing only: hanus. Please let more level heads prevail here.

Anonymous said...

How can somebody that doesn't know where they are or what day of the week it is half the time run a township? I guess more people should vote.

Portage Township Taxpayer said...

922 keep drinking the kool aide don't go crying about not having money when it has been thrown around as of late. As for joining I was a member there once and didn't kiss ass or belong to the click and was basicly ran out. I have no problem with buying gear to protect firemen but buy it for people who will use it not have it sit in a locker collecting dust or being worn by someone who wont be in harms way cause they might have to do some work instead of yapping on a radio. Oh wait his yapping is why we are all in this hole in the first place. Any how where in any of your rambling did you mention caring about the people you serve or should I say the people you heartless bullys don't care about

Anonymous said...

It is NOT really an idle threat. For those of you that think they can not, NOT respond to a situation in one of these Twp... What makes them obligated to respond? Do YOU know? I KNOW! and I KNOW YOU DON"T!

Can the residents of Emporium, Coudersport, Port Alleghany, Roulette hold the firefighters in Austin liable if they is an emergency in those town if they dont go? NO! WHY? Because each of those towns have Contracts with a fire department.

Fire Contracts are not new people. They have been around for years. They are there to make sure that the Fire Department CAN respond to an emergency. The Township, City, or Boro that you live in is REQUIRED BY LAW to provide fire protection. How does a municipality abide to this law??? Good question, A FIRE CONTRACT!!!

Now that you are just a little bit smarter with this lesson. GO TO THE MEETING!!! Find out what is going on!!! Get the FACTS!!! But please for the love off all things holy don't, and I mean DO NOT ask for an application. The fire service needs people who are strong willed and independent... and lastly EDUCATED!!!

Anonymous said...

@10:44:00 AM And just where do you expect the funds to operate the fire company to come from. If you don't pay for service you don't get the service. Period.

@2:18:00 PM; Yes.... There is no law requiring a volunteer fire department to respond to a call. there is however a law that requires a municipality to provide fire protection and EMS coverage.

@4:11:00 PM; A single year contract is not feasable. We are talking public safety here not providing toilet paper delivery. The politicians in this area need to get thier collective heads out of their rectums and learn how things are run.

@4:54:00 PM; I don't even know where to start with you. You are obviously an arrogant prick that has no idea of what it takes to operate an emergency service organization. You don't want to pay for service, you don't get service.

In general the people of Potter County have been getting close to a free ride for DECADES. They have no concept of the cost of Fire/EMS protection. I don't see any of the highway departments or police departments needing to do chicken BBQ's and Bingo games to fund their existence. You people need to crawl out from under the rock you've been under and wake the hell up! I've been involved in emergency services for 30 years and have never seen anyplace like this county. WAKE UP!

Allegheny Township Resident said...

You sir, clearly dont know what your talking about. ALL gear has too be up to NFPA standards to even consider getting grants, which minimizes the amount of headaches and provides firefighters with up to date equipment to help save your ass!!!

Anonymous said...

First, I don't live in Austin, but I was born into the fire service (daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, aunt of firefighters) and continue to be involved in not one, but two departments. I'm pretty sure that those that are complaining have absolutely NO IDEA of the cost of operations for a fire department.

First, you have the turnout gear. How much is that? Well, follow the link to see a picture that explains the cost (since I'm not sure many people can truly read):
http://www.springgrovefire.com/Our%20Department/Equipment/firefighter%20gear.jpg

How about the cost of the equipment? On average each vehicle that sits in the station runs let's say $500,000 to $750,000 - maybe more. Yearly maintenance, insurance, registration, etc.?

Last I checked, it is Austin Fire Department - Not the Portage Twp. or Sylvania Twp Fire Department. With this name, AVFD solely funded by the borough. All of the local "borough" departments not only service the boroughs in which they are located, but also service neighboring townships. Yes, the departments receive funding from these townships. And yes, many have "refused" service to the townships if funding was not received.

Let's look at it this way. You're at work (at least I hope you understand that concept), and your boss wants you to work overtime...but is not going to pay you. Will you do it? Sort of the same idea here - AFD has to extend beyond their expected coverage of Austin Borough to cover these townships. Should they not be compensated for it?

Someone mentioned the new sign, new ceilings, etc. I'm pretty sure these are covered by fundraisers. Doesn't AVFD hold weekly bingo? A 250 club? Other fundraisers? I would be willing to take a guess that those were all paid for the fundraiser theses volunteers volunteer their time for - outside of volunteering their time to run to calls. And these upgrades? It makes the hall even more attractive to those that are looking for a place to hold an event....leading to even more money being raised to support the department.

Just one question - of the above comments, how many actually volunteer - as a firefighter or EMT....or even as a social member? Yeah, my guess would be none.

AVFD - you have my support. Keep you the good work!

Anonymous said...

For all wondering if they can refuse service, yes they can. The primary initial reason is that without a contract in place there is no workman's comp insurance. if one of them gets injured they would be out of luck.

Secondly, how do you think they can afford to purchase equipment, pay basic operation costs or necessary training?

This doesn't mean the firefighters are happy about it. More often or not fundraising events are not even close to the funding necessary to function.

Attend your local government meetings and make your voice known.

Portage Township Taxpayer said...

1054 maybe you should have spent those 30 years learning to read no one is saying we don't want to pay for the service us taxpayers are not saying don't pay its the fire department officials who DEMANDED more money and won't work with the township because its the fire departments way or no way. They can't talk it out with township but had no problem getting on Facebook to run township down and make threats

Anonymous said...

The portage township supervisors met with the fire department. It was there way or no way so before you slam the township maybe you should know the facts. I for one will be attending the meeting with my attorney. These townships budget annually not every three years and as far as saying doing a contract yearly not being feesable that in my opinion is a crock they are willing to pay what you are asking and it is better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

11:15 post you are very smart and what you said was well said. glad to see someone understands. township contracts have been in place for probably 30 years(most were 5 year contracts or 3 year contracts) why would that company go to a one year contract now. bad blood out there somewhere. the post who was a member-weren't you recently voted out of office after you quit? interesting. how much of an increase did the fire dept ask for? pretty sure it would be less than 20 bucks a family when all said and done and funny part most who donate (flatlanders as you say--not many local donations) are giving $50 or more. wake up local people! fire depts. have to plan for years ahead not just today or tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Somewhere in this dialog I read the one word that tells it like it is. If there is a fire and nobody responds, that is purely and udderly hanus and cannot be tolerated!!!!! Lets all grow up here and act like respectful adults who are about the citizens. I am sure there is a compromise lerking out there if we just talk to each other with civilly.

Anonymous said...

Many services offered by Potter County are on a 1-year basis and it has not hindered services. Also, the last I knew the Federal, State, County and Local Municipalities all operate on an annual budget.