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      Arguments turn into silence at Baldwinsville/Lysander Fire Department consolidation meeting

      It was the first time the public could speak out against the Baldwinsville and Lysander Fire Departments consolidating, and they took advantage. During the question and answer period, people both for and against the merger grilled not only Baldwinsville Volunteer Fire Department Attorney Mark Butler, but each other as well.

      They held arguments about information Butler was trying to convey, and temperatures rose when one gentleman put down the Lysander Fire Department, followed by an enthusiastic response from a member of that department. But, when it came time for the actual "Public Hearing" session of the meeting, no one spoke against the consolidation, which was a shock for many.

      "I think some of them had information that was wrong," Jack Kline, the Chairman of the Lysander Fire Board, says. "They now know it's right, and they've changed their minds."

      In that respect, the meeting did the informational aspect justice, giving many to think about, including the Town of Van Buren Board, who decided to wait to vote on the merger until their meeting on Tuesday. Claude Sykes, the Town of Van Buren Supervisor, says this is an important vote, because they need more people, which Baldwinsville would bring.

      "Lysander lacks manpower," Sykes says. "Baldwinsville lacks the district structure that's necessary to become a fire district so they're both going to be benefitted."

      The Town of Lysander Board was also in attendance, and plan to vote on February 11.