TIME TO ACT--NOT STUDY! 47 MILLION SAVINGS IF 10 DISTRICTS CONSOLIDATED
In 2009 10 Fire departments (including Fairview, Greenville, Hartsdale) commissioned a study on consolidation of the fire departments. The study concluded that millions of dollars could be saved. Taxpayers who reside in communities that have paid fire districts pay almost the same dollar amount as the entire town tax bill.
It's been almost five years since the study was released. What has happened in those five years? NOTHING. The report gathered dust. Since the Fire districts are not prepared to pursue consolidation, the voters should decide if they want to pursue consolidation. My recommendation: start small. Let's prove that a small consolidation can work and save taxpayer dollars (and provide residents with maximum fire protection).
Read the following link from Firefighternation--a publication for firefighters. (July 2,2009)
WHITE PLAINS, NY, June 29, 2009 – The Edwin G. Michaelian Institute for Public Policy and Management will make a public presentation of a report, “Fire Services of Southern Westchester County: A Case for Consolidation” on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 from 3pm-5pm at the Pace Graduate Center auditorium, Room 206, One Martine Ave, White Plains, NY.
The event is open to the public. Media admission by press pass.
The 219 page study, commissioned by the Westchester County Career Fire Chiefs Association, evaluates the feasibility of consolidating 10 fire departments serving a population of 250,000 people in a 50 square mile area of Westchester County. The departments are those of Eastchester, Fairview, Greenville, Hartsdale, Larchmont, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Pelham, Pelham Manor, and Scarsdale.
“The timeliness of this study cannot be overstated,” said Michael A. Genito, Director of the Michaelian Institute, “given the state of the economy, the need to improve service delivery, and especially the recent consolidation legislation adopted by the State of New York.”
In addition to more effective and efficient operations, consolidation can result in cost savings through the elimination of duplicate staffing, equipment and facilities. Lower Insurance Services Office (ISO) ratings could result in additional savings totaling an estimated $47 million on homeowner and business insurance premiums.
“This study can serve as the basis for a more comprehensive and granular study that would involve an in-depth evaluation of labor agreements, equipment and facility inventory, operational costs, managerial, legal and other issues that a consolidated district would need to address,” said Genito. “New York State has a keen interest in what we are doing and may be willing to fund a more detailed study entirely with State grants.”