The future of Victor’s 215-year-old, village-owned volunteer fire department will be decided when voters head to the polls Tuesday.
The fire district referendum vote is set for noon to 9 p.m. March 19 at Village Hall, 60 E. Main St., and is open to all village residents.
At stake is the proposed dissolution of the Victor Volunteer Fire Department, currently under the auspices of village government, and the formation of an independent joint fire district that would have the authority to levy taxes.
Still driven primarily by its 53-member army of volunteers, the new district would add some additional paid firefighters to ensure fire protection during weekdays when many volunteers are at work, said Fire Chief Sean McAdoo.
Whether the referendum passes or fails Tuesday, fire department staff and village officials agree that additional staffing is likely needed for the thriving fire department that protects the most densely populated portion of the town and village: about 10 square miles and 10,000 residents.
“Whether this goes to a district or we keep the assets of the fire department within the control of the village, fire protection services taxes will go up because of the need for daytime paid firefighters,” said Mayor Gary Hadden.
“The need for paid firefighters during the day is driven by a decline in volunteerism, which is being experienced statewide,” Hadden said. “While we still do have a good volunteer base, the number of qualified and trained interior firefighters is declining and has been for some time.”
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