A roomful of neighbors in East Syracuse listened intently as they were told about a proposition for their fire department.
Mark Butler is the Fire Department's attorney. "The reserves that should be there for the long term viability of the fire dept simply aren't there. In the three year process that we've been involved in this, the goal is to be sure that fire service remains here for a long long time to come.
The East Syracuse Fire Department is currently over budget and does not have the ability to properly save money for future expenses like breathing equipment or ladder trucks for their fire crews.
The fire department proposed a fire district which would take authority away from the Village of East Syracuse. They would report to a new body of 5 publicly elected commissioners.
Surrounding areas likes Jamesville and Salina already use fire districts. Those introducing this plan say neighbors would be taxed at the same fire rate and depending on where you live, taxes will stay the same or go down.
After hearing the conversations and discussions some neighbors are split over this proposed fire district.
Richard Summers and Lucyanne Forkhamer were both out at the East Syracuse Elementary School. "Independent districts that are single purpose can focus on doing their work a lot better and I think that's the most important thing here. I believe the money can be controlled it will be a lot more transparent in the accounting where it comes from and goes to and I'm for it," says Summers.
"I would have thought it was a good idea except when they talked about our buildings, they would get our buildings, our equipment they are not going to give us anything for our equipment or our trucks, nothing. It's not a balanced thing, it sounded good when I came in here, but it doesn't sound good anymore," says Forkhamer.
Split feelings over a proposition which will now be discussed between the Village of East Syracuse and Town of DeWitt.