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Mayor Herzig Drafts Response

To Fire Commissioners, Lawyer

Mayor Herzig
Mayor Herzig

ONEONTA – Below is the letter from Oneonta City Mayor Gary Herzig sent today in response to attorney Terence Hannigan, esq., a lawyer representing the Town of Oneonta Fire District.  Hannigan had requested additional data on the number of fire calls to the town fire district.

Dear Mr. Hannigan:

I am in receipt of your letter of December 21,2015, notifying me that the Town District Fire Commissioners do not wish to meet unless the City can provide the Commissioners with additional data on calls.

The people of the City of Oneonta have invested heavily in building a professional, well-equipped fire department designed to protect the residents and businesses of both the City and the Town Fire District. Upfront investments and future risks are all assumed by the City of Oneonta. It is the view of our Council and myself that past contracts have failed to compensate the City for all costs and risks incurred. While in-depth analysis of call volume should be used as an important tool for future planning, it has very little relationship to the costs incurred by having a professional fire department prepared to respond to any and all emergency needs of the Town
Fire District.

The level of protection provided to the District far exceeds the value of $1.2 million. If, however, the Commissioners find a better value, they are of course free to pursue it. If this turns out to be the case, I would expect the courtesy of advance notice of the Commissioners’ intent to discontinue contracting with the City of Oneonta for fire protection.

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